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Ron Perlman


  1. Gary Busey, Lethal Weapon, 1986.   There were 39 possibles for Mel Gibson’s suicidal cop.  Just seven for this bad man target, Mr Joshua. John Saxon was first choice - but off he was having A Nightmare on Elm, Street: Dream Warriors.  Next up: Perlman, Keith Carradine, Scott Glenn, Tommy Lee Jones, , Christopher Walken, James Woods… and a slimmed-down Busey.  He said the role rescued his career.
  2. Dennis Farina, Midnight Run, 1987.   A great buddy movie (better than the same director Martin Brest’s Beverly Hills Cop), has skip-tracer Robert De Niro (in top comedy form) and Vegas embezzler Charles Grodin on the run from the FBI andthe Vegas Mob, represented by Farina (a Chicago cop for 18 years before turning actor). His rivals for the gig were Perlman, Alec Baldwin, Dennis Hopper, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta.
  3. Roddy Piper, They Live, 1987The pitch was fine:  Drifter finds some sunglasses that let him to see that aliens have taken over the Earth. And, apparently, the film.  Lousy! Which is probably why 18 other big guns, said nadato being Nada: Perlman, Alec Baldwin, Michael Biehn, Jeff Bridges, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Christophe(r) Lambert, Dolph Lundgren, Bill Paxton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Swayze, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis (plus three mere pistols: Brian Bosworth, Bruce Campbell, Stephen Lang).  And the less said about Russell’s wrestler replacement, the better.“Just John Carpenter as usual,” said the Washington Post, “trying to dig deep with a toy shovel.”
  4. Kurt Russell, Tango and Cash, 1989.    Sylvester Stallone was Raymond Tango – without question. But who would he accept as his equally frame cop pardner, Gabriel Cash? After Patrick Swayze ran (to solo billing in Road House), the list was long… Perlman, Michael Biehn, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Don Johnson, Michael Keaton, Ray Liotta, Liam Neeson, Michael Nouri, Gary Oldman, Robert Patrick, Bill Paxton, Dennis Quaid, Gary Sinise, Bruce Willis and James Woods. They lost out on the debatable pleasure of four directors! From the Russian Andrei Konchalovsky to, secretly, Stallone..!
  5. Adam Baldwin, Next of Kin, 1989.     Perlman, Baldwin (no kin to Adam), Robert De Niro, Michael Keaton, Ray Liotta, John Malkovich, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins were seen for mobster Joey Rossellini in the hillbillies v the Mafia re-run of the same UK director John Irvin’s tons better Raw Deal, 1985.
  6. Peter Wingfield, Highlander, TV, 1995-1998.     Perlman and John Rhys Davies (Gimil in The Lords of the Rings trilogy) passed on being Methos as if they knew he was a one-off, albeit in a two-part episode. Well, they wuz wrong.  Wingfield (as Welsh as JRD) made such a great of being Duncan MacLeod’s Watcher, that he was kept around for 22 epsiodes and then two films: Highlander IV - Endgame, 1999, and Highlander V -The Source, TV, 2007.  Well deserved!  Methos was, after all, the oldest Immortal in the pack, clocking in at 5,000-plus years.
  7. Dave Foley, Postal, 2006. Ron was first up for cult leader Uncle Dave in the controversial post-9/11 satire from Germany’s Uwe Boll, “the most openly despised filmmaker of his generation,” according to San Francisco critic Peter Hartlaub. Perlman’s third movie was The Name of the Rose, 1985, and he followed Sean Connery around like a fanboy. “He made it look effortless,” he told Rebecca Rubin, Variety, September 22, 2017. “But when I watched him craft these performances, it wasn’t effortless at all. It was incredibly well thought out… His respect for the written word was gorgeous and illuminating. I probably never had an acting mentor that meant more to me than him.”
  8. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Watchmen, 2008.      Two producers, Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin, wanted Perlman to be Edward Blake, aka The Comedian. But Ron was the busiest man in movies - eleven roles in 2008.. 16 in 2009. Next? Gary Busey, Nathan Fillon, Thomas Jane, Tommy Lee Jones. Then, Warners took over the rights. And went decidedly cheaper. By which time, Perlman had his own franchise as Mike Mignola’s Hellboy.
  9. James Marsters, Dragonball, 2008.        Bad timing. Ron was asked to be Lord Piccolo just as he was continuing his alter-ego in Hellboy II: The Golden Army.  Marsters saw Piccolo as Shakespearean and spent hours in make-up for the opposite of the good looks ordered by the suits. At 58, Perlman was already the oldest superhero actor and often the TV or video-game voices of Batman, Clayface, Killer Croc, Conan, etc. Oswald, Marmaduke, 2009. Busy enough with five other films that year year, Ron passed on voicing the elderly mastiff,  Chupadograaka Buster, in the screen version of“the world's most lovable Great Dane” from the comic-strip in 600 papers across more than20 countries.. Other animal voices were suppled by Steve Coogan, George Lopez, Kiefer Sutherland, Owen Wilson.
  10. Sam Elliott, Marmaduke, 2009.  Busy enough with five  other films that year year, Ron passed on voicing  the elderly mastiff Chupadogra  aka Buster, in the  screen version of  “the world's most lovable Great Dane” from the comic-strip in 600 papers across more than 20 countries.. Other animal voices were suppled by Steve Coogan, George Lopez,  Kiefer Sutherland, Owen Wilson.

  11. Chris Noth, Frankie Goes Boom, 2010.      Offered two roles, Ron chose Phyllis - yes, Phyllis - over Jack and shaved arms, legs, chest, had a pedicure and manicure to become “the ugliest woman you’ll ever seen in your life.”
  12. Mikael Persbrandt, The Hobbit,  2011-2012.
  13. Kevin Durand, The Strain, TV, 2014-2017.    The wonderful sounding  Vasiliy Fet was written for Perlman, one of the  director Guillermo del Toro’s regular stars. But now busier than ever  - eight  2014 movies! – following his biker series, Sons of Anarchy, 2009-2014. Perlman’s role model was Sean Connery. They made The Name of the Rosetogether. “I followed him around like a fanboy, ”he told Variety’s Rebecca Rubin, September 22, 2017. “I probably never had an acting mentor that meant more to me than him. On my days off, I would watch Sean work. He made it look effortless. But It was incredibly well thought out, it was incredibly respectful to the material, and there was a real aesthetic to the actor bringing an inanimate role to life.”
  14. Kurt Russell, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, 2016.    Aged between Christopher Plummer and Max Von Sydow’s 87 and Matthew McConaughey’s 47, fifteen actors were Marveled about for Ego, father of Chris Pratt’s hero, Peter Quill aka Star Lord.  The others in the  loop were Perlman, Alec Baldwin, Michael Biehn, Robert De Niro, Mel Gibson, Stephen Lang, Viggo Mortensen, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christoph Waltz and Bruce Willis.
  15. Josh Brolin, Deadpool 2, 2017.   With Ryan Reynolds reigning supreme as the wise-cracking, cancer-ridden, super smart-ass hero, could oppose him as Cable, the heftily armed cyborg? (“You’re dark  - sure you’re not from the DC Universe?” our Marvel hero asks him). Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld wanted Russell Crowe - and even after Brolin signed, pushed for Jon Hamm. Other Mr Impregnable ideas included Alec Baldwin, Pierce Brosnan, David Harbour, Stephen Lang, Brad (he shot his Vanisher cameo in two hours), Michael Shannon and the wrinkly brigade (yawn) Mel Gibson, Dolph Lundgren, Ron Perlman, Kurt Russell, Arnold Schawarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis.Already Marvel’s villain Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, Brolin had a four-film deal, to reveal more about Cable and, doubtless, extra gags about his stepmother Barbra Streisand’s 1982 Yentl.


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