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Have you ever wondered what happened to 'Blade Runner' actress Sean Young? Listen to her story about misogynistic Hollywood blacklisting.

Was actress Sean Young blacklisted after Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’?

Have you ever watched a movie with a popular actor and ask yourself what happened to them? Hollywood has a long & fruitful history of blacklisting actors, especially women, when they are deemed, often ambiguously, too “difficult” to work with.

Each generation has seen the phenomena go down, from millennials’ Katherine Heigl to generation X’s Anne Heche. The latest installment in the developing history of Hollywood blacklisting harks back to the 80s & 90s with the new details dropping this week on Sean Young’s career.

Older generations will remember Sean Young from the Hollywood scene in the 80s & 90s, while millennials & gen Z know her well from her huge parts in even bigger movies from the time like 1982’s Blade Runner & 1994’s Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

New generation

Millennials grew up on Jim Carrey, and Ace (albeit dated) is nothing short of legendary, while Blade Runner gained a cult following so great amongst Zoomer nostalgia fandom, it yielded a sequel thirty five years later when Blade Runner 2049 hit theaters in 2017. The younger generation might not have been familiar with Ridley Scott’s career, but they definitely knew Ryan Gosling.

The renewed attention for Blade Runner, further driven by its sequel, brought one of Ridley Scott’s greatest films to a new generation, and along with it, one of Sean Young’s best roles. We can only imagine Sean Young’s recent exposé on her treatment in Hollywood has gained widespread interest from her new generation of fans.

Variety reported this week of Sean Young’s tumultuous journey through Hollywood, featuring exclusive snippets from a recent interview with The Daily Beast. To say the interview was telling would be an understatement; Sean Young revealed her career was wrought with mistreatment from some of Hollywood’s most famous mainstream directors, and her blacklisting didn’t start & end with Blade Runner.

On set

Although Young revealed to interviewers she had a less than ideal experience in crafting one of her career’s most celebrated roles in Blade Runner; she said she thought Ridley Scott wanted to date her, and when she didn’t reciprocate, had her do an uncomfortable scene as a “f*ck you” to her (her words). 

Scott fans & skeptics alike will find her words hard to challenge considering Young’s appearance in Blade Runner 2049.

Young went on to reveal she was essentially forced into a thirty-second cameo in Blade Runner’s 2017 sequel to placate fans who’d want to see her – and they did – but not in the way you might expect. Young agreed to appear in Blade Runner 2049 in the way movie-makers asked her to, as a hologram for a thirty-second segment. 

Young said the people behind the sequel gave her son a part crafting the film’s visuals, and her son’s gig was enough to have her appear & bury the hatchet with Scott. However, the Blade Runner chapter is one one of Young’s many sordid tales from Hollywood sets.

Difficult to work with

Young recounts being sued for harassment by James Woods after the two appeared together in The Boost in 1988, a suit which she won. Anyone who wants to challenge Young’s credibility should check out some choice cuts from Woods’s Twitter over the last four years (yikes).

Furthermore, Young recounts Oliver Stone giving away one of her lines in 1987’s Wall Street after challenging the director for making actress Daryl Hannah wear a dress Hannah wasn’t comfortable appearing in. Although, this confrontation doesn’t seem as bad as when Charlie Sheen slapped a sign reading “c*nt” on her back during Wall Street’s filming (talk about “difficult” to work with . . . ).

After Young & directors butted heads throughout the 80s & 90s, seemingly for Young simply standing up for herself & others, Young recounted one time when a powerful man in Hollywood stuck his neck out for her. 

Young said Jim Carrey was the only man who stood up for her after her trouble with massive players in Hollywood like Warren Beatty & Oliver Stone became known. She explained how the production company wanted someone else for her role in Ace Ventura, but because of Carrey she held onto one of the most iconic roles of her career.

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  • While Sean Young may have been blacklisted as ‘difficult to work with,’ I feel like she added an excellent ‘noir’ element to Blade Runner. The movie would not have been the same without her. Her role was also a very sympathetic character as a manipulated victim of the Tyrell Corp.
    As for Blade Runner 2049, that movie shouldn’t have even been made. It’s a tiresome run of a tad short of 3 hours of wasted time. If it was edited to delete all of the superfluous and convoluted ‘plot,’ it probably would have come out to be 45 minutes long.

    September 2, 2023

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