Shooting the **** With ‘Hellboy’: David Harbour on Reinventing the Franchise, Half-Demon Anatomy & More

Collider | 3/25/2019 | Nick Romano
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One thing is clear about the new Hellboy reboot from director Neil Marshall: its star David Harbour really **** loves playing Hellboy.

It’s been a long day for the actor, who typically suits up as “Big Red” in the make-up chair first thing in the morning, a process that takes under two hours, and that’s where he remains for most of the day, under heavy prosthetics. Late one Monday, back in November 2017, filming had wrapped for the day, the last few stragglers were closing down the Bulgarian fort for the night, and Harbour went back in the make-up chair for the de-rig routine.

Genius - Harbour

“It was supposed to take not this long but you can’t rush genius,” Harbour says, still smiling.

David Harbour on the set of HELLBOY.

Photo - Credit - Mark - Rogers

Photo Credit: Mark Rogers.

By the time he finally re-emerges out of costume to speak with a group of press, there is one thing that remains: his red-painted left hand.

Process - Hour - Thing - Bulgaria - David

“The de-rig process is, like, half an hour, but I leave this lovely thing to wander around Bulgaria,” he laughs. “I look like either David Bowie or a burn victim, the nail polish and everything. This is the only piece of my flesh that’s actually on camera” — in reference to the prosthetic stone hand that covers his right hand and the body suit that covers everything else. “They de-rig me with all the stuff and then they’re like, ‘Do you want to take this off?’ I’m like, ‘No, **** it! I’m in Bulgaria. I just sleep anyway and eat shopska salads. So **** it!’”

Playing Hellboy has done quite the number on Harbour’s vocabulary. Each remark typically comes with a “****” or a “****.” To be fair, it’s difficult not to cuss a bit when you’re pretending to slaughter giants in a big-budget R-rated comic book fantasy. It...
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