‘You’re hoping you’re satisfying’: Ron Perlman says acting is ‘almost like sex’

Ron Perlman has compared acting to having sex, saying he hopes he is “satisfying” when he’s performing.

The actor, 72, was in Saudi Arabia this week for the Red Sea Festival screening of his latest movie How I Got There, when he gave an interview about his approach to his craft.

“Acting’s a very intimate form of discovery,” he told Variety. “It’s something that happens in stages. First, you read it, to try to understand the world you’re entering into, and your place in that world, then you give your interpretation of it.

“You’re being watched by a filmmaker who has the whole thing in his mind. It’s almost like sex. You’re performing something and you’re hoping you’re satisfying. Sometimes somebody will whisper, ‘Go a little bit to the left.’ So it’s very intimate, and it’s very, very personal.”

In the crime movie How I Got There, Perlman plays an enigmatic American mercenary. Also showing in Jeddah is Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, in which Perlman voices the Podestà, a fascist government official who turns Pinocchio into a soldier.

In an interview with The Independent earlier this year, Perlman discussed his thoughts on anti-vaxxers, Trump, his friendship with del Toro and why the detractors of Don’t Look Up are “sick and twisted”.

Earlier this month, Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone voiced support for Saudi Arabia at the opening of the country’s Red Sea International Film Festival, saying that the nation is “misunderstood in the present world”.

The festival, running until 10 December in Jeddah, coincides with the fifth anniversary of Saudi Arabia lifting its 35-year cinema ban.

The event’s chief executive, Mohammed Al Turki, has promised a “zero-censorship” festival that will feature LGBTQ+ themes, despite being held in a country where homosexuality is illegal.