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HELLBOY

About The Production (Continued)
The main costume worn by actor Brian Steele, who portrays Sammael, was much more elaborate – and heavy – weighing in at around 60 pounds total. "Once he was in the suit, Brian wore it pretty much all day with few breaks and he sweated profusely,” says Elizalde. "He was a pretty rugged guy.” 

The head Sammael wore was multi-functional with membranes that opened and closed, eyes with dilating pupils, nostrils that flared and a tri-furcated tongue the character used to grab onto objects and spew venom. More elaborate arms were created for insert shots when del Toro required Sammael to move his fingers – done via remote control. "Aside from Brian, who's in the suit,” says Elizalde, "we had three puppeteers operating the creature and keeping him looking slimy and wet and gross.”

The nuance in Perlman's performance belies the rigorous application of several layers of makeup he underwent every day starting at four in the morning. "What's truly amazing to me is how subtle Ron's performance is and how it comes through all that makeup,” says Levin. "You're looking at this outrageous character. He's red. He's got horns. He's huge. He has giant teeth. And yet, you don't see a mask. He's a living, breathing, emoting being right in front of your eyes.” 

"I've always enjoyed working under makeup,” Perlman confesses, "ever since my first film Quest for Fire, back in 1980. It's like alchemy. They apply this stuff to your face that's without life and the minute it's on you, it comes to life. Hellboy may look big and fierce, but the softer parts of his humanity definitely come through.” 

Even with years of experience wearing extensive makeup, Perlman confesses the specifics of Hellboy's head-to-toe get-up took some adjustments, particularly to his big stone arm. "Like my tail, the arm was remote controlled, so I won't know what performance the tail and the arm gave until I see the finished film.” 

The process took about four hours, according to makeup artist Jake Garber, with a breakfast break for wardrobe and the insertion of contact lenses by a lens technician. "Ron wore four foam-like tech appliances,” notes Garber. "After a preparation to protect his skin, the first piece we put on was the neck and chest piece, which wrapped around him and was glued below his jaw line down to his collarbone. The piece extended down to his pectorals and was left loose so it could be lifted up when he put on his muscle suit. Next came the skullcap that incorporated the horns. Then there was a facial piece that covers everything except his lower lip, which was the last piece we put on.”

After wardrobe, Perlman inserted his contact lenses after which the lower lip was secured. "The last thing I did was pop in his teeth,” says Garber. When the process was complete, only the actor's eyelids were actually his own. 

The logistics for stunt coordinator Monty Simons also required intense preparation, especially since del Toro wanted as much of the action as possible to be real and shot on set, rather than filled in later with computer graphics. "CGI is a punctuation rather than the sentence in this movie,” Perlman affirms. "The three- dimensional world will be enhanced by CGI.” 

As it did with Elizalde, the character of Sammael provided Simons with one of his biggest challenges. "He wears a suit that weighs about 60 pounds. It's very flexible, but still you have a stunt guy dragging around all that weight during intricate fight scenes, having to hit marks and basically not being able to see.”

Months prior to the onset of production, Simons rented a sound stage and built flying systems to explore what he could do with the Sammael and Hellboy characters. Flying systems were built with eight special harnesses for the two characters that had to be custom fit, measured and sized with "pick points” – different places where the cables could be att

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