PLAYBOY.COM: Given that the Scorpion King films are set a couple of thousand years prior to The Mummy storyline; does this affect the historical accuracy of the weapons, or stunts?
PERLMAN: [Rittikrai] goes and does the research. He pinpoints the time, and the style of fighting that was employed at the time, and the style of swords that were employed at the time, because swords come in many shapes and sizes, and you want to get that right.
PLAYBOY.COM: You’ve played a slew of action-heavy roles, between your work in Hellboy, and Conan the Barbarian, and Sons of Anarchy (to name a few), and you’re known for doing a great deal of your own stunt work. Would you say you’re very comfortable with swords at this point, or are you more at ease with other kinds of fight stunts?
PERLMAN: No, I’m not comfortable. I’m challenged by it. And I feel that it’s important to look as comfortable as is humanly possible to look in a movie like Scorpion King or Conan the Barbarian, where the swords and the forging of your own weapon--something that took place back in those days--is something that you immerse yourself in. And that’s the challenge. Especially for someone like me who grew up in New York City in the twentieth century. That’s the fun of it, making the leap. It’s trying to allow your imagination to take you to a place where conditions were completely different in every way that they are, where the things that are the extensions of your persona are completely different than anything you’ve ever known. That’s the joy of acting.
PLAYBOY.COM: I can see that.
PERLMAN: I’m sure you can!
PLAYBOY.COM: You’ve working alongside director Guillermo del Toro on both Hellboy I and II, and you’re set to star in his latest project, the science fiction kiju film Pacific Rim. Tell me about your ongoing collaboration.
PERLMAN: We’re about to start our fifth project together. When we’re not working together we’re eating and socializing and enjoying each others’ company. I guess I enjoy that guy’s company on a multitude of levels, and I’m not sure which one is more mind-blowing. The professional collaboration, the amount of stuff that we’ve done together on a creative level, or just the friendship. Because they both occupy singular places in my life. And the impact he’s had on me and on my career is kind of indescribable. He’s somebody that I love and that I admire. And I get to experience him on both levels.
PLAYBOY.COM: How does playing roles like King Horus or Hellboy, with all the largeness of their internal, comic book slash speculative storylines compare to playing a character like Sons of Anarchy M.C. President, Clay Morrow?
PERLMAN: Every single job you have has a personality of its own. And a scope of its own. But none of that changes your fundamental approach. And none of that changes what you know the job to be, which is just to find truth in the character. Sometimes you have to get that truth to come out faster than others. In a movie like Hellboy, you’re shooting a page and a half, two pages a day. Whereas on a show like Sons of Anarchy, you’re shooting anywhere between six and ten pages a day. So you’re just working faster. But you’re working with the same skill set, and pretty much that doesn’t change. The conditions change. But you’re depending a lot on your imagination, and on your ability to say ‘what if.’ You have to block out a lot of stuff, you know, because when the camera’s rolling, you have to be in a very quiet, personal, private space to be free.
Scorpion King: Battle for Redemption is available on Blu-ray Combo Pack with UltraViolet, DVD and Digital Download January 10, 2012 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.