You know Ron Perlman from Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim, or whatever other movie or series that takes advantage of the rough-and-toughness that follows him around. Since launching his own production company nearly a decade ago, Perlman has focused on producing and starring in micro-budget projects, a far cry from the summer blockbusters that flood theaters each and every year. The latest such project is John Swab's Run with the Hunted, where Perlman stars alongside Michael Pitt, Sam Quartin, and former Anarchy costar Mark Boone Junior.
In the feature — which won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at last year's Woodstock Film Festival — Perlman stars as Birdie, a criminal kingpin that serves as the leader of a Lost Boys-esque cabal. We recently caught up with the actor to chat about Hunted, a potential return to the world of Hellboy with longtime collaborator Guillermo del Toro, and a few of the actor's other upcoming projects.
Keep scrolling to see our full chat with Perlman below.
ComicBook.com: Have you been keeping busy, all things considered? Everything going well, or decent, out that way?
Ron Perlman: I was built for quarantining, brother.
Oh yeah? What have you been doing?
Not doing nothing.
Not doing nothing.
Sitting around doing nothing. Not having to be close to anyone. I'm loving it.
Sounds like the dream.
If I could just make a living doing this, it'd be perfect. But, alas, nobody is paying me to stay indoors.
I've yet to find out how to monetize that. I've been working on it, trust me. But no luck.
Yeah. There's a lot of people who are working during the pandemic, but I'm not among them.
I know you've been doing some voice roles before all of this — but you haven't been doing any voice work or anything like that remotely?
Yeah. A couple of things here and there. Just over voiced for the UFC, it's various and sundry tidbits. But, the big picture I was working on, with Guillermo, was put on delay indefinitely, until everybody figures out when it's safe to come out of hiding.
Right, right. So, had you done some work on Pinnochio before shutdowns? I know Ewan McGregor was saying some stuff about that in the past couple of weeks. Have you completed any work?
Ewan McGregor is working on Pinocchio. The live-action movie I'm in the middle of shooting with Guillermo is Nightmare Alley. And that's about 40% shot when they had to put a pin in it.prevnext
Run With The Hunted
Gotcha. Let's talk Run With The Hunted quick, of course. Just got done watching it and it's this super gritty, grounded, small feature. Tell us a little bit of what initially attracted you to that role of Birdie.
Yeah. I'm fascinated by guys who have appetites and the kind of wiring that it takes to operate in such a morally compromised fashion. They're just interesting to dissect. They're interesting to ponder. They make for rather baroque and expansive kind of interpretations, acting-wise. And this character was kind of not like anyone I've ever seen before, in terms of how he leverages his ability to take people who are on the fringes of society, and in great need of being legitimized, and uses them for his most nefarious pleasures.
I mean, you've been in Hellboy, you've been in Pacific Rim, I think Monster Hunter is coming out, right? Is there something that you think is more attractive about these super small films as compared to the tentpoles?
Well, the super small films are not dependent on the technology that comes along with CGI, all of the technical stuff that overwhelms the big studio tentpole films these days. So, if you're looking to just do stories about people interacting with people, that's basically what you're going to get with the small indie films. And that's probably why I keep coming back to them over and over again.
I don't want to have you choose between one or the other, because I understand a paycheck's a paycheck — but I mean, would you prefer taking one of these indie films over a massively huge blockbuster?
I like the idea that there's a big menu out there and that you get to sample enough, so that you feel like... Because, there's nothing more better than variety to satiate you that... I mean, it's really nice to have all of the choices and know that, "Yeah. I'm just doing this to keep the lights on, pay the rent. I'm doing this purely as a labor of love." Yeah. It's nice to be able to be in the position to take advantage of both.prevnext
You mention labors of love, passion projects, and stuff. Is there something, whether it be a script or a story you've been sitting on that you're still looking to make?
There's a lot of them, I mean a huge, huge swath of unproduced material that we're kind of pushing uphill, inch by inch, every day to get into the light of day. So yeah, and hopefully that will never stop. I mean, that's the thing that kind of makes life worth living is having a cause to fight for and having a set of ideas that you can't wait to get realized on screen. So yeah, there's a huge list of things that I'm working on right now, to try to get financing for, find the right cast for, find the right film maker for, etc.
One of the producers on Run with the Hunted that I've been — I've had my own production company since 2013, Wing And A Prayer Pictures — and there are all these things in this price range, smaller films. But, as complex as I can find, as interesting as I could find, as unique, and explore little kind of tributaries of society, or subcultures that I can find. Those, to me, are the things that are the most interesting to work on.
So Run with the Hunted is certainly an original property. You mentioned your own production company. In this day in age, it's certainly not uncommon to see comic book adaptations. Do you have any interest in adapting something else, or do you strictly want to do original screenplays?
No, I'm open to anything that kind of shines a light on facets of humanity that fascinate me and that engage me, and that I find wake my curiosity muscle, whether that be an adaptation. It just so happens that I'm known for reading first-time writers and they always have original material. So, the first few years of the production company has been more representation of that than anything else.
But, I'm always reading stuff and looking to see what I could find that I could adapt.prevnext
Perlman vs. Cruz
You've never been shy to shine the light on the underrepresented. The past couple of weeks have obviously had a focus on Black Lives Matter. Then this past week, I think you challenged Mr. Ted Cruz to a little wrestling bout. Have you heard from his team yet?
That scene played itself out on Twitter. The challenge went unanswered and I guess there was no more publicity for them to mine with trying to co-op somebody's Twitter feed and somebody's popularity. Whatever it was that they thought they were going to do by engaging in this completely...they never had the intention of doing anything other than be provocative and be stupid.
So, I played it out for as long as I could and I threw the ball in their court. And, as you can imagine, just a bunch of p*****s and cowards and blowhards, and it never went anywhere.prevnext
Totally understand. We talked about passion projects a little bit ago, so obviously I have to bring up Hellboy. Even with the reboot, do you think you and Guillermo could ever re-team on a Hellboy III, eventually, whenever that may be?
There's always a little ember, that lives deep within me, that says maybe one day Guillermo will wake up and go, "You know what? F-ck, we need to finish this trilogy."
But, that's where we were, one film away from finishing. But then, every time I see how busy he is and what he's engaging himself in, it doesn't seem like it's realistic. It doesn't seem like it's ever going to happen, but that doesn't prevent me from living in hope.
Hope's always good to have. Did you manage to watch the reboot, or have you wanted to stay away from that?
I did not. I spent enough time immersing myself in the world of Hellboy that it was something I had no curiosity for. No, no. It was somebody else's thing.prevnext
Totally. I feel you. Quick question about Monster Hunter. You're all done with that, right? That's set for September, I think?
Well, it was planned for September. I don't know if anyone really truly knows what inviting people back into private movie theaters is going to look like and when that's going to be a possibility, but the hope was to release it as a big, huge theatrical release. So, I can't give you any updates as to whether that release has been kind of moved, or whether it's pending the announcements of when it will be released. But yeah, that's a big one.
What can you tell us about it?
The futuristic virtual reality kind of world, where ships are riding on sand rather than water, where these monsters are coming up from the ground that are indomitable and cause a great deal of destruction and chaos and consternation. And so, it tells the story of this team of heroes that are charged with, once again, saving the world from utter chaos and destruction.
Perlman's Hellboy movies are available wherever movies are sold. His latest movie, Run With the Hunted, is out now on video-on-demand.
Cover photo by Joe Scarnici/FilmMagicprev
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.