Exclusive | Ron Perlman Talks <i>The Hobbit</i>, <i>Hong Kong Butterfly</i> And More!

Earlier this week, Spinoff Online had the opportunity to chat with Ron Perlman about his role starring opposite Nicolas Cage in Season of the Witch, arriving in theaters in January. We’ll have more coverage of that movie for you as the release date draws nearer, but Perlman is a busy guy and it’s impossible to talk to him without digging for info on the rest of what he’s working on.

Curious to know which role would have been his in The Hobbit had Guillermo del Toro gone on to direct it? Or what his involvement in At The Mountains Of Madness is? Then there’s the big surprise, something you didn’t know: Perlman developed and co-wrote something that he hopes to star in before he returns to the set for the next season of Sons of Anarchy! Read on for all of the juicy details…

On At The Mountains Of Madness

I’ve actually read the script and it’s magnificent. [Writer/director Guillermo del Toro] wrote a role for me which is phenomenal. I’m just hoping that logistically it all works. It’s gonna be a little bit of a conflict with some other things I’ve got on the board, but I’ve gotta be there for this one.

On Guillermo del Toro…

He’s the coolest guy I know, without equivocation. He’s in a class by himself as a filmmaker. He also runs one of the most fun sets I’ve ever been on because he’s just got this amazingly wonderful wit and great enthusiasm for the filmmaking process, which translates itself into pure joy. It’s a state of grace being on a film set with Guillermo.

On The Hobbit Role That Never Was…

I was gonna do it when he was gonna do it, but that’s all changed so I’m no longer involved. I think he had written [the character of] Beorn, the bear-man, for me. But I think it’s going to somebody else now. It’s all right.

On The Possibility Of Working With Jean-Pierre Jeunet Again…

I’m polishing up on my French because he doesn’t seem to want to do another movie in English. I think Alien Resurrection was the beginning and the end to [his] American filmmaking. I sure would love to work with him again. I have nothing but the highest regard for his point of view as a filmmaker. It’s so unique, it’s not like anybody else’s sensibilities. I’m so grateful for the two films I got to do with him and I’d love to believe there’s another one coming down the pipe, but I have no news to scoop.

On What’s Next…

I know I’m going to go back to Sons of Anarchy in a couple of months. I’m trying to fit one thing in that I developed, it’s a film noir piece, a character that’s not unlike [The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye protagonist] Philip Marlowe. He’d be the only American in China. He gets a letter that lures him into this world of duplicity and mystery and strange, arch, evil behavior. So it’s a classic film noir that I developed for myself that I’m just hoping logistically we can fit in prior to April, when I go back [to Sons of Anarchy.]

I co-wrote it. I had an opportunity to work with these Chinese filmmakers and they asked, ‘What would you do in order to sort of merge the East and the West?’ And so I gave it a little bit of thought and decided it’s such a noir place, such a mysterious place. The thing about Philip Marlowe is that he was always in a world that was filled with duplicity and lies and streets that turned into dead ends and information that turned out to be inaccurate. He was always behind the 8 ball. It was just this laissez-faire fearless demeanor that got him through, the fact that he didn’t care if he lived or died, which is a precept of film noir. I thought it was a great fit. So I’ve worked on that, it’s called Hong Kong Butterfly.

I would not direct, I don’t like working for me. I don’t like working for me as an actor and I certainly don’t like working for me as a director. If I had to work with me, I’d punch myself in the mouth!

Season of the Witch arrives in theaters on January 7, 2011.

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