He's the lead in one of the biggest, most-anticipated comic blockbusters of the summer, an action-packed follow-up in which he reprises his role as the demon Hellboy. He of the super strength. He of the super-healing factor. He of the literally indestructible Right Hand of Doom, a granite fist that holds the key to the apocalypse.
But ask Ron Perlman what he's most looking forward to in "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," and the answer isn't more ferocious fights or bigger beasties. It's romantic, candlelit dinners.
"The stuff that was cool about the first movie, the quiet stuff, the stuff that is interpersonal and character-driven and idiosyncratic [is what I'm most anticipating]," Perlman said. "The charming aspects of it got better in the second one."
Since the first movie, Hellboy has become something of a lover boy, as his relationship with fellow paranormal investigator Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) has blossomed.
"We start off the film on the next level, where we're living together." Perlman teased. "She's living in my bachelor pad with me and my 55 cats, my 22 television screens, all of which are either playing 'Popeye' or 'The Three Stooges.' "
"You know how that goes," director Guillermo del Toro joked.
"Not well," Perlman added.
What makes Hellboy's romance different from most other comic book romances, of course, is that Liz isn't your prototypical damsel in distress — even when, as in parts of this film, she is something of a damsel in distress.
The couple finished the first film happily united. But what happens when things aren't going well? There are many pratfalls to office romances, but they pale in comparison to the ones you face when that office is charged with saving the world, Perlman joked, telling MTV News that he was particularly proud of how the Liz/Hellboy dynamic intersected with and influenced the main story.
"The relationship gets tested, which is a story that runs parallel to the big 'A' story of the film. You get to see the guy you saw in the first film, who was filled with swagger and one-liners and arrogance, you get to see him completely at sea emotionally," Perlman revealed. "He's vulnerable and compromised while he's trying to save the world. And he's slightly inebriated because that's the way he processes utter despair."
If only there were someone he could talk to. Turns out, there just might be, confessed co-star Doug Jones.
"[Abe Sapien] falls in love for the first time ever," Jones said. "You asked what we're looking forward to — I'm looking forward to seeing how that plays out onscreen, because it felt really right while we were filming it. Anna Walton plays Princess Nuala, and she's beautiful and she's good.
"He was kind of a one-note intellect before," Jones added of Abe. "Now he's got an emotional life and also vulnerabilities and insecurities."
Poor Hellboy. Poor Abe Sapien. Poor humanity. "Hellboy II" opens July 11.
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