Ron Perlman is best-known for his titular role in the Hellboy movies and his long run on the TV series Sons of Anarchy, as well as scores of other iconic performances, including The Name of the Rose, City of Lost Children, and Pacific Rim.
His new memoir is Easy Street (the Hard Way).
From Perlman's Q & A with William O'Connor for The Daily Beast:
When you’re writing about Sons of Anarchy you talk about playing Clay Morrow taking a toll on you. Why do some actors seem to be really affected by the roles they play, and some don’t?--Marshal Zeringue
For the most part, roles don’t have a particularly profound effect on my average day. They’re just basically things that you put on and take off. I think the difference to the Sons of Anarchy character is that when you take on a role it’s the result of a network of decisions you’ve made about whether you want to spend time with this character, whether you want to explore this character, whether you want to go inside yourself and find if that person exists in you. What happened with Clay Morrow on Sons of Anarchy was that he started out with a set of variables, and those variables dramatically changed halfway through to the point where he was on some sort of collision course with this monstrousness that existed inside him. The monstrousness that existed inside him when I said yes to the role was minor, but by the time I finished playing him in the end, it was all he was. I just tried to infuse it with nobility, because he was after all a king. What I was being given to play was decidedly negative and ugly, and made for very uncomfortable moments. For the first time in my life I was playing a character I don’t like, I don’t admire. I’ve played serial killers, but there was something about their wiring, their psychology that I found important to explore, to unearth. There’s an admiration, there’s a conscious enthusiasm to play those characters. It just changed into something quite dark and unattractive with Clay, and was a unique moment in my artistic career. It was very difficult because at the end of the day I’m very particular about who or what I portray, even though it seems random, I have to admire the character I’m playing.
What do you hope people who read this book will walk away from it thinking?
My goal is not for readers to have an impression of me, but more to have an impression of...[read on]