Fans of FX’s biker drama Sons of Anarchy are accustomed to seeing Ron Perlman as Clay Morrow -- the larger-than-life leader of the California biker club. Even this season, suffering from a bullet wound and the loss of his leadership position, he’s still one tough dude.
But fans of the show will be surprised to see Perlman in a whole new light as Phyllis, a post-op transgender in the upcoming comedy, 3,2,1...Frankie Go Boom.
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“I’m kind of one of these guys who wants to play everything once before it’s all over,” Perlman tells The Hollywood Reporter. “And so if there was ever gonna be an opportunity to play a woman, this was the one that really resonated because she’s so deliciously conceived.”
In an added twist, Perlman plays Phyllis opposite his Sons of Anarchy co-star, Charlie Hunnam. Hunnam plays Frankie, who is tasked with tracking down an embarrassing sex tape that his brother (Chris O’Dowd) is trying to release on the internet.
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Hunnam had originally shown the script for director Jordan Roberts’ 3,2,1...Frankie Go Boom to Perlman in hopes of getting him to play another character -- the father of Lizzy Caplan’s character. But Perlman asked for be considered for the part of Phyllis instead.
“I just thought the image of Jax Teller and Clay Morrow, turned up on its ear, regardless of what happens after that moment, it was worth the price of admission,” he says.
Perlman, who has played a wide variety of characters over the years, including roles that required a great deal of makeup such as in Hellboy, says it was his first time putting on drag, and led to some very painful physical treatments.
“There are parts of me that were shaved for the very first time, that I’m still itching as it grows back,” he says.
Watch THR’s interview with Perlman above.
3,2,1...Frankie Go Boom opens in theaters on October 12.
Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford