David Harbour on the ‘exuberance’ and ‘pain’ of being Hellboy

/ 12:10 AM April 18, 2019

David Harbour is Hellboy

Part of the challenge in playing the half-demon superhero Hellboy, actor David Harbour related, is executing fight scenes in his cumbersome costume.

“The shaved ones are fine. But the big horns Hellboy wears at the end, those are notoriously tricky. Swinging a sword becomes very difficult—I kept hitting myself! They’re also very heavy,” he said in a recent interview with The Toronto Star. “They had to give me a special skullcap that would give me headaches after about an hour.”


To make things trickier, the tail forced the actor to be mindful of his every move. “It gets caught on everything. You can’t sit in a backed chair, because it’s there. [There are] so many things you don’t realize … I now have sympathy for cats, as well!” the 44-year-old American star added.

Directed by Neil Marshall, “Hellboy”—currently showing in cinemas—features action set pieces that saw David being thrown and slammed every which way. But while the job was physically demanding, he loved every bit of the experience.


“Anything that you love is enjoyable to do. [So even when] it’s hard, there’s an exuberance to that difficulty,” pointed out David, who worked with hulking “Bulgarian wrestler-type” stunt men on the set.

“They’re big, powerful guys, and there was a lot of getting thrown around. I did get slammed a lot. I got beat up. I broke my toe, and my knee got screwed up and stuff,” he related. “But you only live once, right?” —ALLAN POLICARPIO

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