Ron Perlman, star of the new Amazon pilot show, Hand of God, is on fire. He is fresh from the launch of the new show and all signs are pointing to success for him and the show’s crew. Perlman’s new role is that of Judge Pernell Harris, a no-nonsense judge who runs his small town of San Vicente with an iron fist.
Hand of God is a new pilot on Amazon’s Prime service. Through the service, subscribers are able to view the pilot and then vote on it. Even non-paying subscribers can view the show if they sign up for a 30-day free subscription.
The son of privilege and wielder of great power, Harris is at the center of a lot of the town’s activity. He’s the man who is leveraging a huge development deal for the town. The deal promises to make many, many of the townspeople very wealthy. However, the town’s hard-as-nails judge is in the middle of a spiritual crisis.
Perlman loves his new character very much. The interplay between the judge’s spiritual side, his corrupt side and his tenuous sanity was fascinating for the lifelong actor. In an interview, he expressed his love for the Hand of God pilot script, the creative avenues which Amazon opened and the ability to ply his craft with such talented and driven people.
Perlman started acting at the tender age of 16, when he was a youth on the streets of Manhattan. He was fortunate enough to meet people who turned him onto the possibilities available to those who study and explore the human condition as their life’s work. He caught the acting bug and has not looked back ever since. In fact, his film and television resume goes back to 1979, when he played Dr Bernie Marx on the soap opera, Ryan’s Hope. Prior to that, Perlman was in New York trying to make it as an actor. He moved to Los Angeles to make more money to support his family.
When many actors might decide to rest into a state of complacency and take very familiar roles, it is obvious when one speaks with Perlman that he is not interested in resting on his laurels. He does not believe in coasting or taking the easy road to anywhere. He is still very much a product of New York – a city kid with a tough hide and a person who does not understand the easy, softer way.
″You’re that much more alive when you are unsure of the outcome,″ Perlman said. However, each role provides new clues which lead towards a solution to the riddle of the human condition.
He has played many characters who have insatiable appetites – men who do not understand ordering a medium-sized anything. They all want to either go big or to go home. His role on Hand of God has many of those demands, but this time his character has no clear center and no controlling point. His son has attempted suicide, he has been turned inside out by a religious experience and he faces a very uncertain future. Perlman’s previous characters are more usually found facing external conflicts – strong men who must rise above what the world has thrown them. This time, the conflict is all internal and Perlman is excited to explore a role which is so rooted in an inner life.
No one can ever accuse Perlman of being an entitled movie star. To the contrary, he expresses nothing but gratitude for the role he has landed and the people who helped make it all happen. When mentioning co-producers Ben Watkins and Marc Forster, he speaks in reverent and exuberant tones. Perlman is even excited about his studio, Amazon, which has opened up new avenues for the Hand of God pilot.
By Hobie Anthony
Phone Interview with Ron Perlman