If you need a gruff and tough actor with a perfect scowl, Ron Perlman is an appropriate pick. He's one of the most innovative character actors in Hollywood, pulling off outlandish movie makeup and dramatic character transformations. Casting directors notice Perlman's talent, as he seems to be one of the go-to choices for monstrous roles. He even starred as a villainous alien in Star Trek: Nemesis. He's become one of those actors who's done consistently high-profile work despite often being completely unrecognizable.
Perlman's acting career started in 1975, and his most legendary characters prove how far he's willing to go for a role.
- Photo: Columbia Pictures
Hellboy gave Perlman the opportunity to create one of his most recognizable characters. He requested makeup artist Jake Garber to form his demonic look, and the two men worked tirelessly for every part of the filming. Garber described a typical shoot day with Perlman:
The usual process is Ron would show up there, and we were allowed four hours. The actual time he was sitting in the chair was usually two and a half hours. But I wanted him to be able to get up, stretch, and have a cup of coffee, maybe a little breakfast, so it's not quite as grueling as sitting there for four hours straight.
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- Category: Film
- Photo: New Line Cinema
For the 1996 adaptation of H.G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau, Perlman played the bestial Sayer of the Law. It proved to be a challenging role because the makeup partially blinded him. Perlman welcomed the visual impairment, though. He said:
The [blindness was the] best idea I ever brought to a character... And then they put these lenses in, and I said, "Wait a minute, I just want to appear like I'm blind. I don't want you to actually make me blind... I literally could not see my hand in front of my face.
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- Category: Film
- Photo: Paramount Pictures
Perlman jumped at the opportunity to appear in Star Trek: Nemesis. When he first learned about the potential role, Perlman responded, "Yeah, man, just tell me the time and the place, and I'll be there." Even the heavy prosthetic makeup didn't deter him - he was a devout Trekkie.
Perlman first met talented makeup artist Jake Garber during the Nemesis shoot, and he requested the artist again for a later project, Hellboy. He speaks highly of Garber's talents and his Star Trek experience as a whole, noting:
I'd never met him before, but he and I are now partners for life on any big makeup job that I do. He did Hellboy. He's the best I have ever worked with. So a lot of good things came out of Star Trek for me personally.
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- Category: Film
- Photo: CBS
Arguably one of the strangest projects on the list, the 1987 CBS television series Beauty and the Beast starred Linda Hamilton and a young Perlman in his most substantial role yet. It was his first major mainstream part, and Perlman has a particular fondness in his heart for the series. The so-called modern retelling of the story took place in the dingy underground of New York City - a far cry from the Disney version. George R.R. Martin was one of the show's primary writers, long before Game of Thrones first aired on HBO.
Perlman worked hard to identify the "heart and soul of the character," which in many ways allowed him to reflect on his insecurities. He connected with the Beast, saying:
The concept of the Beast in Ron Koslow's version was so vivid and moved me so personally because this was a character who by dint of his fate was unable to participate in the thing he loved most - which was the fellowship of man.
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- Category: TV Program