A/V Room









Hellboy - Selma Blair Q&A

Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. Why are you so happy, you're on a junket for goodness sake?
Um, if I have to promote a movie, this is a pretty good one, you know. They're pretty enthusiastic people, Guillermo and Ron and everyone, so, it's ok [sighs].

Q. The love story was great - it was really touching - but I have to say, at the end, when you went for the kiss, I did sort of go, eow.
Q. So what was it like kissing that mask?
I kind of went eow as well. I had a huge crush on Hellyboy, the whole movie. I swear to God, he was so sexy, and charismatic, and so charming on set, I completely forgot there was an actor underneath. I really had such a crush, and I was kind of like, when am I going to get to kiss him? When are we going to realise this love story? And I was so caught up, I forgot it was latex. I just forgot, so I went in to kiss and I was a bit impassioned, and truly, Hellboy got a little tongue from this little lady, and it was one of the gravest mistakes of my life.
I mean, I was dying.. I couldn't stop laughing; it was the very last thing that was shot in the movie, and when I told Guillermo that there was a little tongue involved, he was like 'oh my God, oh my God, no, no more, oh my God'! We were laughing, we were having a really ridiculous time with it.

Q. Did Ron [Perlman] even notice?
I don't think so, because he had so much teeth. I mean, there was a major, major barrier to any real... yeah, really [laughs]. I mean there was a new definition for safe sex; there was a lot of latex.

Q. There was a sort of life lesson there learned, I suppose?
A. [Looks bemused]
What? What's that?
Q. Be careful before you give someone a French kiss...
Oh yeah, no, I can't learn that one.

Q. Is there any hope for poor Hellboy having his love for Liz returned?
Oh I think by the end she really has the hots for him. When she sees his devotion is so undying that he will go to hell and back for her - I know that sounds like a Meatloaf song, or something - you know, their devotion is really recognised by both of them, at the end, and so I imagine in Hellboy 2 they will be... full on; a little bit more than tongue, if you know what I mean!!! No, no, I hope not [laughs]

Q. I imagine being a pyromaniac, having the hots for someone is quite....
Oh, you had to, didn't you!!! You'll learn. No I think it was so perfect because Hellboy is flame retardant. Doesn't he make a comment in the movie? So that answered a lot for me about how well they can work together.

Q. It sounds like a match made in hell...
Oh, you didn't have to!

Q. To play someone that's essentially a romantic lead, that must have been nice for you, because they seem to always cast you as the mean girl...
Yeah, I am usually the comedic antagonist. I'm always really drawn to the misfit, or kind of the unlikeable one, that's a little bit more interesting to me, so I do say yes to a lot of these kind of supporting roles that are real trouble-makers, or tightly wound snobs, or something that gives way to some comedy. I really love entertaining. And this was really different for me, in that she was a really strong leading lady, without a big voice. She was merely a presence, mostly, for this movie and not a single joke was issued from her miserable little mouth [laughs]. So it was really refreshing that I didn't have to care about being likeable, or goofy, or anything, I really just got to be in Guillermo's movie and do as he wished. I loved it, I loved Liz, she is a lot closer to my own spirit than some of the others I play.

Q. Supernatural elements aside, she is closest to you, do you get a pleasure from playing someone quite different from all those other roles?
Yeah, I do, you know, I definitely come from the frame of mind, of [sings] 'let me entertain you'. I like to kind of ham it up. Even in my own life, I couldn't be a more miserable bag of rocks, you know. I don't have any of that in my day to day life, so it's always really fun to go on set and brighten things up a little.
And this one was a tiny bit scary; it wasn't really challenging for me to play Liz, but it was a bit uncomfortable for me to play someone that's as much an isolationist, as I tend to be, and as much as, you know, pretend to let everything hang out, dark circles and all, you know. To finally play a leading lady and have it look so unleading lady like was a really unusual thing.

Q. What did you get up to when everyone else was in four hours of make-up?
A. [Laughs]
I was probably just coming in from the night. Sorry mom. I was really lucky. They had four hours of make-up; I must have had 20 minutes of make-up tops. And that was just to put my wig on; I don't think I wore a speck of make-up in that movie, and I had a lot of long nights in Prague, because it was really kind of a great surprise to me. It was a jazz club-type of town, and, you know, a little Slipowicz goes a long way [laughs].

Q. And cheap too....
Yeah, exactly, I was a real cheap date with myself out in Prague, so I could afford to go out a lot!

Q. Seems like now you almost have to dodge other people's films and English stag parties?
Yeah, that's really funny. It's true, there were so many English stag parties, they really looked foolish, it was cute. They leave the country so they can really misbehave in Prague.

Q. They do that here too!
Oh really? They do in the States, too, but they take it all to Vegas, and that's just so sleazy you don't notice. And there's so many films there now that I don't even know if we'll shoot the sequel there. I mean, I've no idea, but it seems to be getting really crowded with that type of thing, and they're probably not so inexpensive now that they've really cornered the market on it. God gamn, them!

Q. I have visions of you partying in Prague with John Hurt and David Hyde Pierce...
A. [Laughs]
I like to paint a picture that I'm a real party girl, I wish. I actually was out with John Hurt and, um, and guess what? I'm pregnant! [Room erupts with laughter] Oh, my publicist is having a fit now. I told her, I told her before we came in, Nicole, please remind me to be a lady in this, I really, really want to come off ok. And she said, 'I'll try!' She just gave me such a look...

Q. John Hurt does like a drink of course?
I don't know about any of that but he is very charming and, actually, we really all just went to dinner. It really was a really long, lovely night out with a bunch of friends. We really got on so well and Guillermo really set the tone for being utterly professional, and yet really, really loving and taking the piss out of each other. It was a really familial set, so all that other stuff is actually rubbish, but I wish it wasn't! [Aside] I wish it were not so, as I long for a little Hurt baby! No. Again, I can see Nicole's eyes on me. I was surprised how young he was, though, because he plays Broom so effectively. I mean, he's like a really young guy; he's completely.

Q. Really?
Oh yeah, he plays Broom to play 85; he's the most amazing transformative actor.

Q. He's wrinkly...
He's not wrinkly! You bitch! No, no, he's so handsome, I mean God. I'm going to stop going on about him!!!

Q. Didn't you have your husband there?
No, I met my husband after the movie.

Q. So the romance of the movie set you up for real-life?
Yes, exactly. I thought I need to find my own little Hellboy, and I did!

Q. Where did you meet him?
We were a blind date.

Q. Wow, do people do blind dates with you?
It was the first. Actually, one other I'd had in the past, where he had me pay his way and my own [laughs], so I wasn't really keen, as you might say, on going on another, but my friend, Amanda, who I really trust, said 'I have your husband', and I said, 'that's odd, I don't want to get married', and I don't want the time out and blah, blah, blah. But this trip to Prague has really sort of undone me.. I was alone so much in Prague, I really was not out partying at all, but I was really alone reading like Kakfka and Pindera, and really working myself into a real, like, lonely frenzy...

Q. You've gone from party girl to library boy in the space of this interview...
I know, we'll find a balance in this story somewhere. So she set me up with someone, cos she thought it would be really good for me after this whole experience, and after 10 minutes I fell in love with him.

Q. Does it prove to you that romance and love at first sight therefore works? Did you believe that before?
Yeah, I mean, I believed it when I was younger, and then I got a bit long in the tooth to believe all that crap. You know, I just thought, aah, whatever, you can make anything work, or not work, and I was really jaded about it. I didn't believe in miracles anymore, and then... ah, it brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it? And then I did, to find a companion that I get along with so well, and to be able to work through finding a way to have a relationship pretty successfully, even though we've only known each other for about a week, is really uplifting to me. He really gets my sense of humour, and not a lot of people do, I hope each and every one of you do, so that I don't sound like a real asshole.

Q. So what did he think of your scene kissing Hellboy?
I think he liked it, but he's a huge Hellboy fan and he got his very own live action doll. He was a fan before he met me, so that was kind of interesting. Guillermo made fun of him a bit; he's kind of the ultimate fan. But he liked the kiss. I think he was so happy to see Hellboy and Liz together, because in the comic it's not that way at all.

Q. So he wasn't a purist about it then?
No, the tone and the characters are remarkably similar. This is an amazing adaptation, I think, and I think most of the fans to, too. But I thikn the relationships were altered for dramatic effect. Certainly, it really made Hellboy much more endearing, to have such a devotion and a love interest with another misfit.

Q. Did you know anything about the character before the script arrived? Had you read the comics?
I knew nothing. I didn't know what Hellboy was at all. It was Guillermo that made me believe in the project. I signed on for Hellboy 1 and 2 without even really reading the script; I think I just flipped through it, because I knew Guillermo was making it, and then I loved it. I loved what a strong leading lady she was, but yet so really, really human and flawed, and full of guilt and all these other things that make humans come undone.

Q. It was your first big effects picture. Was that a new discipline to learn?
No, I have to say, this movie was such a cake walk for me, I mean Guillermo really created this entire world, so you walk on to set, and you're there, you know, and Liz, I played her really kind of, so much like a regular girl, cos she ultimately was; she had this power that showed itself so rarely in the movie, um, that it was really easy. I mean, they added the flames afterwards, so I felt a bit awkward, onset, with my arms out-stretched, and people are really like chewing gum, and trying my darndest to look really, really intense. But I trusted Guillermo to make it alright in the end.

Q. So were you dodging an imaginary Hellboy tail?
No Hellboy was full-on real! No, I loved him, he was real! I'm sorry, I just looked at you like you said the craziest thing! It's so embarrassing. No, everyone was real, all the monsters. I didn't see a green screen. Ooh, excuse me, I'm about to have tuberculosis [turns away and coughs]. All the monsters were really there. The monsters were there, and the tentacles moved, and they were in the water, and Hellboy was very much there. It was all fully realised, so I was really spoiled. If I go on another fantasy set again, and I have to look at a tennis ball as a monster, I wouldn't know what to do. I would be beside myself, missing Guillermo. He really took great pains to make this world come alive for all of us, and himself, I'm sure.

Q. You've been working with our Steve Coogan....
Aaah, my love!

Q. Really? What was that like?
I think that he is one of the sweetest, funniest men. I was not really even familiar with Alan Partridge. I hear people love it, love it, love it. His attention to detail is so amazing, it makes his comedy come to life, even in person. He's such good fun, we had a great time together, and my part was kind of small in that movie, but I did play a woman that was really in love with him, so I got to really hang about him.

Q. It's his first big kind of Hollywood leading man... He did Around The World, but that was Jackie Chan as well....
Yeah, this one is definitely a dramatic role for him. He's a real kind of film noir type of guy. It's really serious. I don't think he's funny in it, because it's not that type of role. So it was a real departure for him. But to get to meet him, and to work with him, it was really spectacular, and we had a great time. I'm really looking to find a project that the two of us can work on together. I think we both really want to do something kind of comedic together.

Q. Have you seen any Alan Partridge then?
. No, I have since. But at the time, yeah, he's really, really, really.. I've seen kind of moments of it, and then I've been asking people here, you know, for more details. But we don't have it in the States, so I'll have to send away...

Q. And Ursula Udders? I presume she's a right cow?
Oooh, oh my God!!! No, she is udder-ly. No, Ursula was so much fun to play because John Waters is such a character, I mean completely a different world than Guillermo, or Todd Solondz, or the other directors that I've loved so much for their own specific brand of... humour, in a way. John really, really romanticised the loud ugliness more than anyone that I've encountered and made them charming in their way. I'm so glad I got to work with John, he's a real American icon, although independent film-maker. His films aren't my first choice to see, they make me feel so queezy, so very queezy, and this one was no exception; this is a real, I think John's really happy with this one. It's really joyous, though; there's nothing about his films that are mean-spirited, and I love that about John, they're all with the intention to celebrate whatever it is that we're seeing.

Q. Do you have anything queezy in your performance?
No, actually Ursula, other than her gi-normous boobs, she's pretty normal, like I don't know, maybe that doesn't say the right thing about me, that I think she's normal. She's a sex addict, who's kind of a go-go dancer, albeit not a very good go-go dancer with breasts like that. I mean go-go dancing is really marketed towards the Twiggy frame...

Q. What about the rumours surrounding your breasts?
The rumours are not true, John saw some rumours on some website, that said 'isn't that awful, Selma Blair really went out and had implants put in to please her director' and all that stuff....

Q. They were really milking it....
Oh, you just started... Please.. Ah bless you. They're latex, much like my love interest's lips in Hellboy.

Q. With these prosthetics, presumably it changed the way people looked at you, and the way you walked?
A. [
Nods inn agreement] I did walk a bit like a pregnant woman with the baby in her chest. I wasn't attractive, you know, they don't suit me. And they really were that extra large. I had to have my clothes made for me and everything on the movie. It's only for a real fetishist, these boobs were.
Yeah, I did, I walked out of my apartment one morning, having taken four hours to have them put on by a very patient young man named Connor, who's seen all of me now, with greeting me first thing in the morning. I walked out of my apartment, and I'm wearing a bath-robe, and I have these very real-looking large breasts, and they're painted, everything, nipples, etc, and there was a construction crew camped outside my apartment, erecting a building, and I just thought it was a good laugh, and just undid the robe and was like, 'hey boys!' And it did not have the desired reaction. I just thought they'll love it, they'll think it's great, but I think half of them went home sick [laughs]. There was not a single whistle, anything. I heard like clank, clank... they're fucking scary; they're big, you know, you wouldn't know what to do, they're more than an eyeful, for sure.

Q. What did John say when you told him that?
He just laughed, but I think he wasn't really pleased about me showing off the goods before the film came out. It was like, 'you shouldn't be showing those things'. And I'm like 'anyone has to use their imagination'!

Q. What's next for you, Selma?
Um, I don't know, I'll probably get a job at like the Dunkin Donuts. I think Top Shop is taking applications. No, I don't know, excuse me [sneezes]. So, I think, I have a movie [is passed a tissue], oh God, do I have something hanging about? You're really helpful in the grooming of Selma Blair...

Q. What a wonderful title for a movie?
So that's my next project! No, I don't really have anything lined up. There's a few things I'm looking at, and we'll see if they come together. We're going to go on a honeymoon. My husband deserves one.

Q. Where are you going to go? Prague?
Yeah, probably the Czech Republic. I really want to get to know it. [Laughs] No, I'll probably go on a ski vacation or something. I'm kind of sporty.

Q. How long were you together before you got married?
Um, we were together, he asked me after eight days, and then we got married, I went and shot A Dirty Shame, and he still loved me after that, so we got married straight away, in Carrie Fisher's back yard.

Q. What do you do to a bloke to make him ask you after eight days?
Oh, I couldn't tell you that. No, can you imagine?

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