(Originally posted on DARKWORLDS.COM in 2003)
An anonymous source within the HELLBOY effects shop has offered DARKWORLDS an exclusive peek behind-the-scenes at the work that’s going into creating Ron Perlman’s elaborate demon makeup for his starring role in Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming supernatural adventure.
“Perlman is getting a full torso makeup,” the effects artist told us, “which is really rare because it’s hard to hide all the seams. Typically when we do a full torso, we’ll give them arms and a chest but we’ll cover their shoulders with something to conceal where everything joins up. If you look at Darkness (Tim Curry) in (Ridley Scott’s) LEGEND, he had arms and a chest built up but he had a cape to hide the join. And in FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING they had a full makeup for the scene where the first Urah-Kai is being created, but that was just the one scene and he was covered with muck and slime to conceal the seams. For HELLBOY Perlman will have the full torso makeup, and it’s been complicated to do but it looks really good.”
Our source reveals that the film will not attempt to be slavishly faithful to the highly-stylized look of the Mike Mignola comic book it’s based on.
“It just wouldn’t be possible to be that stylized. For one thing, Hellboy is huge in one panel of the comic and then in the next he’s smaller, there’s no consistency that way at all. We’ve had to make Hellboy’s look more organic and less angular, but we have done a lot of work to include the tattoos across his body and things like that. We tried to go with the smooth horns like you see in the comic, that goggle look, but we did some research and it just didn’t look right in reality, so we’ve given them some texture, like they’ve been broken off.”
Our source says that unlike some temperamental Hollywood stars, Perlman (best known for roles in such genre fare as TV’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN and BLADE 2) has been remarkably easy-going to work with considering the extensive and potentially uncomfortable prosthetics required for his role.
“Perlman’s had a lot of experience with effects makeup, so he has no problem with it at all. He’s been really great, he just sits there and doesn’t complain and he’s very chatty.”