Interview with Ron Perlman

Photo Credit: SutterInk
October 12th, 2012

I had the honor of speaking with a seasoned actor who is admired by film and television lovers all around the world, Ron Perlman.  Whether you know him as Hellboy, Clay from Sons of Anarchy, or any number of roles, you know that Ron is a brilliant and one of a kind actor. With his tough exterior, did you ever think that he would play a woman on screen?  I sure didn’t, but Ron takes the time to talk with me about his role as Phyllis in the new comedy 3,2,1... Frankie Go Boom.

MRR- Hey Ron thanks so much for speaking with me today.  You are such a great actor and you have been in so many wonderful films including: Hellboy, The Island of Doctor Moreau, Drive, Season of the Witch, Conan the Barbarian, among many others. You also currently star on the hit show Sons of Anarchy where you play Clarence 'Clay' Morrow.  The film we are here to talk about is the new comedy 3,2,1... Frankie Go Boom which comes out Oct. 12th.

How are you doing today Ron? Where are you at?

Ron-  I’m good.  I’m in Hollywood baby, where am I supposed to be? It’s the dream factory.

MRR-  Are you really busy out there or what?

Ron- No man it’s all good, mellow you know?  Where in sunny California where it never rains.

MRR- It’s great here in Ohio today also. 

Ron- Man what are you doing in doors, you should be outside playing golf.

MRR- You are absolutely right. (laughs)

MRR- So Ron, can you give us a breakdown of 3,2,1... Frankie Go Boom?

Ron- Our lead character Frankie, played by Charlie Hunnam who I work with on Sons of Anarchy, goes out on a date and doesn’t realize that he is having a really rough time  in terms of closing certain things in regard to this date.  He doesn’s realize that his brother is filming the entire thing so that he can launch it onto a Youtube type channel.  This thing gets launched and all kinds of frivolity ensues and it begins to ruin Frankie’s life and certainly his chances of having connubial bliss with this young lady played by Lizzy Caplan.  So they go to Charlie’s brother who spent some time in county prison, and had a cell mate named Phil who is in there for computer hacking; he took down two million bucks out of Bank of America. They go to Phil for his computer expertise to try to get this thing off of Youtube, and when they get there Phil is now Phyllis; he has transgendered including a change of plumbing.  So that’s where I come in.  I play Phyllis, and there wont be a dry seat in the house, and that’s all I can say.   

MRR- You did such a great job in the movie. I always wondered with someone like you who is such a great actor, and so well known, who has dozens of roles to choose from, why this role?

Ron- The fact that they asked. (laughs)

MRR- Well I know that you were offered two roles in the film right?

Ron- Actually I was offered the role of Jack, which is played by Chris Noth in the movie.  So I was reading the script with that in my mind and I just fell in love with the writing.  When I got to Phyllis I just said, “Jesus if I’m ever going to play a chick it’s gotta be this one”.  She’s so funny and such a goof, and the extra added sort of bonus is the fact that all my stuff is opposite the guy I play the step-dad of in Sons of Anarchy.  These two highly charged testosterone driven characters, and you get a chance to see them in a completely different light, and I thought it would be a good thing for our fans.

MRR- I think Sons of Anarchy fans are going to love watching this don’t you?

Ron- Well they’re either going to love it or hate it.   I don’t think there is going to be much middle ground. 

MRR- You’ve never played a woman before have you?

Ron- No, and never will again.

MRR- You never had to kiss another man on screen before?

Ron- Never have, and hopefully never will again. (laughs)

MRR- The scene that you have where you are dancing with Frankie is a pretty disturbing scene, hilarious but disturbing, I noticed you didn’t shave your legs for the part.

Ron- Did you notice that?  You obviously have HD on your TV.  (laughs)

MRR- I thought Jordan Roberts did a great job writing the movie, had you ever worked with him before?

Ron- No, I had never met him until the day I arrived on set to do this movie.  I had to give him kudos for writing this unbelievably funny script.  I don’t get a lot of comedies come my way, but this had to have been the funniest script I have read in 20 years.  I know I wanted to be a part of it; I just didn’t know it was going to be as a chick.

MRR- When it comes to directors, do they just kind of let you do your thing?

Ron- If you come in prepared and you seem to have a grasp for what they were looking for when they wrote it, then yeah they let you alone.  I happen to have a really strong set of beliefs about Phyllis all based on what I thought was his intention, so there wasn’t a whole lot of discussion nor was there time for a whole lot of discussion.  This film was made for no money, and so we didn’t have a lot of time to discuss stuff so we would just shoot it and move on. 

MRR- Yours and Frankie’s character have a really good relationship and I felt like Phyllis was kind of a mentor to Frankie in a way.  She seemed to be almost like a voice of reason at times.  What do you think is the relationship between these two characters?

Ron- I think that that stuff you’re describing kind of came out as we were going along.  We didn’t realize it was there until we started to put it on it’s feet. The dynamic of Phyllis starting to feel the pain of being misunderstood by the world, and no one knows better than someone who has actually gone through all the trouble of changing their identity, and their gender.  So Phyllis falls into this category of someone who can truly understand this horrific pain that Frankie is going through, and act like a surrogate advisor almost like a family member.

MRR- It’s a really good movie Ron and I think it’s a funny comedy.  I guess the last question I have for you is what can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

Ron- Well we got the new season of Sons of Anarchy which is out now.  We got Pacific Rim coming out, which also stars Charlie Hunnam and will be out summer of 2013. Now I’m just trying to line up some more stuff. I set em’ up and knock em’ down. (laughs)

MRR- Well thanks for your time Ron and the new movie 3,2,1... Frankie Go Boom comes out October 12th.

Ron- Alright thanks Nick.