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Casting The Film
Hellboy wouldn't be Hellboy without Ron Perlman returning in the title role. Fortunately, the actor was up for getting back into the boots of his favorite role, a character he describes as "a complete underachieving, lazy slob…a beer-drinking, football-watching average American guy who has no desire to be a superhero,” explains Perlman. "He just happens to have these abilities commensurate with where he's from and who he is. His idea of a perfect day is pizza and beer and watching The Three Stooges and Marx Brothers movies. His extraordinary superhuman traits are coincidental and not something he aspires to.”

Perlman also looked forward to working again with his longtime director. Of del Toro, he states, "The depth of his intellect and accumulated knowledge, based on this voracious curiosity to read anything about why people need to tell stories—including all types of mythology from all cultures—is what sets him apart.” Also, he agreed with the filmmaker's fascination to tell this type of story. "Guillermo is a great storyteller, because he understands the need for people to pass down fables and myths, as well as to look at the huge, errors that are made by humans as a result of their frailties and vulnerabilities.”

Del Toro also knew Hellboy couldn't return without his sarcastic romantic sidekick, Liz, back for another round of dazzling pyrokinesis. Perlman's partner in crime fighting would again be actress Selma Blair, the only performer the director and producers felt could do Liz justice. Says del Toro, "In the comic, Liz is always very brooding, very dark, distant; she's never relaxed. Selma nailed that.”

Blair respected the fact that fans of the comic book and film franchise have a special place in their hearts for Liz. The pyrokinetic remained beautiful, yet untouchable, to anyone for fear that she would accidentally harm them…until she met Hellboy. Blair reflects, "Hellboy has some really die-hard fans, and all of us are grateful that their devotion has given us the chance to tell the story with Guillermo.”

As Liz and Red move into a relationship, they are coping with the same irritations as most couples…plus some unique issues that occur when a recovering demon falls in love with a fire starter. "Petty things are really amplified when you have superpowers,” laughs Blair, whose character has finally come to embrace the pyrokinetic energy that used to threaten everyone who came near. "When Hellboy and Liz have a row, it's not just, ‘Okay, I'm going for a walk, see you later,'” she explains. "It's more like, ‘I'm going to blow up this damn kitchen and will see you later.'”

Again cast as the rotten-egg-eating, brilliant aquatic empath Abe Sapien was actor and movement specialist Doug Jones. Of his character, del Toro explains: "Being half fish and half mammal, Abe possesses a unique frontal lobe. Much like a dolphin's, it can receive and transmit information and images locked in objects or people. Abe is also the egghead of the group in terms of occult knowledge.”

Before and since his first Hellboy film, the longtime del Toro collaborator has carved out a fascinating niche in creature performance. Recently, as both Pale Man and the title character in Pan's Labyrinth, intergalactic indentured servant Norin Radd in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and a series of irradiated imps battling The Rock in DOOM, the 6'4” Jones had been keeping quite busy.

Foremost, Jones was happy to tackle Abe again as, frankly, "there was much more to do this time.” He reflects, "Abe has so much more decision-making and character development…and he wields a weapon this time.” Jones laughingly adds, "Me with a gun—that's funny.”

Jones also appreciated the fact that his water-dwelling character would finally get a chance to experience true love, this time with the enchantin

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