Ron Perlman, the actor synonymous with films such as Hellboy and Pacific Rim, has detailed a selection of films and directors who he considers to be some of the greatest of all time.

Having earned a formidable reputation as a character actor, Perlman has built a prolific creative collaboration with Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro and it has, over the years, proven to be a match made in surrealistic heaven.

Supremely impressive performances in films such as CronosBlade II, Hellboy and Pacific Rim has cemented his legacy in the world of fantasy and science fiction cinema. For Perlman though, an actor with an emotional connection to the art, the roles he portrays on screen offers a somewhat symbolic approach to combine multiple personality traits.

Having pursued a career in acting after been encouraged by his father, Perlman once admitted that the roles in which he has taken on are a direct reaction to his childhood. “It was not a bad life but I had a perception of myself that was… I was terribly overweight as a young kid, and it was sort of a low self-image,” he once said about his upbringing. It is those self-confidence issues that led him into the direction of fantasy cinema, stating that “these sorts of deformed people who are very endearing.”

The impressive achievement for Perlman though, among his repeated box office success, remains his ability to adapt to each project with a new approach—a vigour and commitment to a role which has been built out of longstanding respect and adoration for cinema and that values that encompass it.

When sitting down with Rotten Tomatoes to discuss some of the specific films and directors to influence his cinematic vision, Pearlman was quick to reference his close friend Guillermo del Toro: “As a specific film, Pan’s Labyrinth would have to be in my top five,” he said of del Toro’s 2006 project. “What Gabriel García Márquez was to fiction, that movie is to cinema. It’s magical realism, and it’s something that can only exist cinematically. It cannot be confused with any other medium. That makes it the perfect film. It’s also unlike anything you’ve ever seen before or will see again, it’s completely unique and not derivative, and it’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.”

With reference to the likes of Frank Capra, John Ford and Steven Spielberg as some of his favourite directors, Perlman also discussed the two films he considers to be the greatest of all time: “The two films that have to be tied for first — and this is probably a hackneyed answer, but it is the way it is — are The Godfather, Part 1 and Citizen Kane,” he said.

The Godfather is a perfect film/ There is not one shot out of place, there’s not one performance that’s not the best thing that actor has ever done. There is not one thing about the film, visually, that’s not mind-bogglingly beautiful and elegant and astounding. And it shines a light perfectly on its subject matter.”

See the full list, below.

Ron Perlman’s favourite films and directors:

  • Film: The Godfather – Francis Ford Coppola, 1972.
  • Film: Pan’s Labyrinth – Guillermo del Toro, 2006.
  • Film: Citizen Kane – Orson Welles, 1941.
  • Director: Frank Capra
  • Director: John Ford 
  • Director: Steven Spielberg

When discussing Spielberg’s impact on Hollywood, Perlman added: “He has to be in the discussion. He made one masterpiece after another, and you can’t even pick which is the best. What are you going to say, that Close Encounters was better than E.T., was better than Raiders of the Lost Ark? You just can’t do it.

“You can’t do it with Ford, and you can’t do it with Capra either.”

[MORE] – Look back at Francis Ford Coppola’s original handwritten casting notes for ‘The Godfather’

Via Rotten Tomatoes

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