We are, at the time of writing, exactly one year out from Lionsgate’s long-anticipated Hellboy reboot, and David Harbour couldn’t be more excited.
The actor, who is perhaps best known for his endearing performance as Chief Jim Hopper in Netflix’s Stranger Things, took over the role from Ron Perlman. Following two stints as Mike Mignola’s cigar-chomping demon, along with years of false starts involving the fabled Hellboy 3, Perlman joined Guillermo del Toro in bidding farewell to the cult fantasy series.
It’s an admittedly anticlimactic end to such a gripping and at times deflating saga, but Perlman’s loss is Harbour’s gain. Indeed, Collider recently caught up with the Stranger Things star to discuss all things Hellboy, which he considers to be the “hardest shoot” of his career thus far.
It was the hardest shoot I’ve ever done, primarily because there are just so many stunts in it. It’s a very action-packed movie. There’s a lot of story, too, and a lot of big scenes, but there’s a lot of action. There’s a lot of me running around, jumping and turning, and punching stuff. It’s crazy! I’m 42, and the fact that no one asked me to do this in my 20s is so insulting. Why did I have to become a super-monster in my 40s?! My bones are not the same as they used to be. It was very hard, in that way, but it’s also really thrilling ‘cause I get to carve out an entirely new mythos to this guy and I get to play on this big palette of witches and giants and demons.
Flanked by an all-star cast, including Resident Evil alum Milla Jovovich as the villainous Blood Queen, Lionsgate’s Hellboy redo promises to be a must-watch for fans of the horned demon. As for Jovovich, David Harbour has nothing but praise for his co-star:
She’s super bad-ass! I watched some of her coverage, and I was like, ‘Damn, you know how to work a camera!’ There are people that understand the camera, and I’m not one of them. Man, she would do certain things and I would just be riveted and like, ‘Wow, you are so sexy and exciting and powerful and crazy! I don’t know how to do that. That’s amazing!’
In closing, the towering actor touched on the extensive makeup process needed to become the Hellboy we know and love. To his credit, Harbour clearly logged a few late nights in the gym in order to bring a real, tangible physicality to the role.
In terms of the make-up, that was not that fun. I will say that I got to a weird place with it. I think we had 70-plus applications of make-up, which is a full mask. By day 30 or 35, I’d wake up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror and everything was blurry. And then, I’d sit in the chair and for an hour and a half or two hours, they’d apply that face.
Then, I’d look back up in the mirror and be like, ‘Oh, there I am!’ I started to associate my own image with that other face. That was pretty cool! I didn’t really like my own face, as much as I liked this guy’s face, so I’d get excited in the morning when I’d put on the different face, but it was hard. There was a lot of listening to music on headphones and a lot of sleeping, if you could with four people applying glue to your face.
Expect David Harbour and Co. to raise hell when Lionsgate’s adult-oriented Hellboy reboot stakes a claim for the box office throne on January 11th, 2019. So far, the only other notable release occupying that same corridor is Glass, the atypical threequel coming from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan.