PACIFIC RIM's Ron Perlman on Guillermo del Toro and Being Seduced by Mexico

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PACIFIC RIM marks Ron Perlman and Guillermo del Toro’s fifth collaboration. The Sons of Anarchy star credits del Toro with reviving his career and introducing him to the Mexican culture. He tells CineMovie his friend and favorite director hasn’t changed as a visionary since he first met him in the early 90s.

Ron Perlman plays Hannibal Chau, a sort of pirate who sells Kaiju body parts on the black market in Hong Kong. Perlman describes him as a hedonist who dresses like a futuristic pimp.

In an interview with the 6’1” PACIFIC RIM actor, he describes del Toro as a hard working filmmaker who works 12 hour days on set, then sits down with an editor for another two hours to check the day’s shots. Perlman says he came in six months after production began and found del Toro “fresh as a daisy” which he found surprising since his friend and director is usually “beat up” near the end of shooting a movie.

“He has this work ethic that’s mind-boggling. I don’t know when he sleeps.”

Perlman attributes del Toro’s energy with his positive experience working with Legacy Pictures who produced the film.  According to Perlman, the Mexican director usually has to fight and struggle with production companies to get the resources needed to complete the film.

After 20 years of working with del Toro since the director’s breakthrough in the 1993 sci-fi thriller Cronos, Perlman tells CineMovie he hasn’t changed since his first encounter with the 26-year old. 

“The only thing that has changed is the resources he has been given.”

Perlman added that del Toro still doodles in a notebook in the same way and remains the same visionary director he met two decades ago.

“Those images have always been coursing through his brain since he was like eight years old when he got his calling from up high that he was going to do this and this was going to be his niche.  No one else in the world thinks like Guillermo. No one else is obsessed with putting these images of these very special, exotic things on screen like Guillermo."

Meeting del Toro not only changed his career, but he credits the Guadalajara native with introducing him to the Mexican culture.  When he shot Cronos in the 90s, he was “moved” by what he saw in the people of Mexico.  In all his world travels, he had never seen the “spirit” and “humility” in people living in poverty.

“I’ve never seen people so dignified and as joyous even with nothing. There’s this kind of joie de vie.“

In the video interview, Perlman adds he became “seduced” by everything del Toro introduced him to including independent cinema. Since meeting his long-time friend, he has spent the rest of his career looking for someone like del Toro, but he soon realized there is no one like the PACIFIC RIM director.  

PACIFIC RIM opens July 12.

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