Selma Blair tells us what its like to love the kitten-loving, anti-hero Hellboy.
Selma Blair is heading back to hell this weekend as the pyrokinetic Liz Sherman in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, the follow-up to the 2004 box office hit. Having finally come to terms with her powers, Liz is out to kick (or rather scorch) ass in this latest instalment, which sees Hellboy up against an ancient evil (aka that bloke from Bros) threatening to destroy the fragile piece between mankind and those otherworldly creatures.
In our latest Hellboy interview, Blair chats about returning to the role, Guillermo Del Toro and the possibility of a Hellboy 3!
Q: Did you have any reservations about reprising the role of Liz in Hellboy II?
No. Not one. How could you ever have reservations working with Guillermo? This is what an actor dreams of, anyone working in film. He is the best there is. Anything he does he’s good at. I sound like a sycophant, but it’s true.
Q: Why do you think Hellboy holds such wide appeal?
I think it’s a shock to girls that Hellboy is so funny. I’m sure with the first one, some were dragged by their boyfriends thinking ‘Oh God, this is some weird horror movie I don’t want to go see’. But he’s funny and he’s sexy. He’s just like a regular guy.
Q: So he’s more relatable than the perfect superheroes we’re used to seeing?
Yes. I think he’s so completely relatable. He’s in these absurd situations and his girlfriend bursts into flames and there’s a guy who looks like a fish who is walking around. There are very strong themes in Guillermo’s movies which are so serious. It’s not like anything the title would suggest. There’s Hell and Boy, one’s a scary place and the other, boy, is an adorable image. Even the title is funny.
Q: Hellboy is probably not every girl’s ideal mate. Do you agree?
He’s a really flawed regular dude (laughs). He’s a guy, but he’s big, red, he has horns, a tail and he’s also just a big sloppy grown up kid.
Q: Why do you think Liz falls so hard for him?
Liz and Hellboy have known each other since she was an adolescent and they’ve had a bond ever since. There’s just an instant love between the two of them. He’s funny, he’s charming and he goes all out. When he wants to do something, he gets the job done. He’s loyal and a good guy. He’s also a softie and he loves his kittens. There’s a lot to love about him.
Q; The Liz we see in the sequel has grown up and changes a great deal. Were you happy to see a different Liz in Hellboy II?
I was really happy for it. Liz is so different in this one than in the first. In the first, she was like playing a teenager. She was sad and was really uncomfortable in her life. She was trying to move forward.
Q: Is it true that director Guillermo doesn’t use as much CGI as what other directors would for a film like this? For example, he builds fantastic sets where in other films the director might rely on animators to fill the background later?
Yes, that’s so true. His sets are always incredible. On both Hellboys I was blown away when I walked on set. The costumes are so detailed and impressive as well. It is so great to be an actor on his movies because the surroundings really help you believe you are in this fantastic world. You’re basically living inside the brain of this brilliant director.
Q: There are so many complex action scenes in the film, what scene would you say was the most difficult to shoot?
I’d say one of the first action scenes in the movie. It takes place in the auction house and I have a gun. I know how to shoot a gun because my sister was a police officer so she taught me how to use one safely, but it is so different when you’re using them in a movie. You have to pretend to be shooting one so you have to mimic the kickback after you fire it. I was so bad at it! Doug Jones is in the scene too and he was the same as me. Guillermo would call us ‘Selma and Louise’ and that made us laugh even more. There were times when we were trying to do this serious scene where we are being attacked by these creatures, but Doug and myself were rolling on the floor laughing because we were so bad at it.
Q: What would Guillermo say?
He’d laugh too. I’m sure he wondered if we’d ever be able to get through it. Luckily we did and if you watch the movie, you’d swear Doug and myself were professionals with guns. I guess that’s why Guillermo is one of the great directors. He made us look so good.
Q: You’ve now made two Hellboy films and there are rumors of a third. Looking back to when you were first offered the role, what did you know about the Hellboy comics?
I didn’t know anything about Hellboy, but I knew a lot about Guillermo. When I heard Guillermo wanted me in the film I said ‘yes’ without having read a script. Then I looked into Hellboy and knew it would make a fantastic film, especially with Guillermo directing. He has the most incredible vision.
Q: What was your favorite Guillermo film before Hellboy?
My favorite was The Devil’s Backbone. It’s incredible.
Q: So if Guillermo asked you to do a third Hellboy film, would you be in?
Sure. Try and keep me away! There’s a big surprise in the film – I won’t say what because I don’t want to spoil it – so I would like to see how that turns out. Guillermo has told me a little bit about what he would do with the characters if he makes a third. Personally, I’d like to see how my character, Liz, deals with the changes in her life. There’s a lot of potential and growth for my character.
Hellboy II : The Golden Army is now showing at Irish cinemas nationwide!