'Gladiator' Director Ridley Scott Blasts Trump's Response to Coronavirus Pandemic: 'He's a Nutcase'

Ridley Scott has suspended filming on his movie with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Adam Driver

Gladiator Director Ridley Scott Blasts Trump's Response to Coronavirus Pandemic: 'He's a Nutcase'
Photo: John Phillips/Getty; Mark Wilson/Getty

Oscar-winning director Ridley Scott isn’t happy with the way President Donald Trump — and other leaders around the world — have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legendary director behind movies like Gladiator, Alien and Blade Runner chatted with Variety about the status of some of his movie projects in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has shut down most non-essential work. During the talk, Scott, 82, also offered his thoughts on how the world’s politicians have dealt with curbing the virus.

“Particularly with this orange-headed fellow that’s running us, he’s a nutcase, isn’t he?” Scott said, referring to Trump, 73. “[New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo made a name for himself, he’s put himself on the map certainly. Looking at the globalization of the politicians that are running the world, half the time being run by idiots and the other time by despots, there are very few worthwhile ones, if you know what I mean. No one wants to go into politics. If anyone has half a brain they wouldn’t want to go into politics anyway, right?”

Trump has been criticized for his lag in springing to action to combat the virus stateside, though he’s since declared a national emergency to help combat it.

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Scott also gave his opinion on how we should be handling the crisis, bringing some experience from his days living through World War II.

“I’m a war baby, so, in the war years, we had rationing,” he said. “People could not binge on food, we had ration books with coupons where you were at a limited amount that you could buy. They should do that now because people are buying so much food and then the food is rotting…You must have order and calm.”

The director was recently at work on the film The Last Duel, which stars Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Adam Driver. Shortly after they started filming in Europe, production had to shut down in order to protect cast and crew from the virus.

“We, of course, sensibly put the film on hold,” Scott said. “I finished in France after shooting for a month and decided it was sensible to close down for the time being. We’re a month in and it looked fantastic. The period is 1360, so we’re back to medieval France and it’s kind of interesting. Back about two weeks ago, we decided to hold it out because it’s silly to continue and wait for the inevitable to happen. We were set to go to Ireland in a week and it was a natural break, so I said, ‘Why don’t we stop here and we’ll return?’ ”

The Last Duel is currently set for release later this year on December 25. It remains unclear if the date will have to be pushed back due to the virus.

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