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Ron Perlman Says His Presidential Run Is No Longer A Joke: ‘We’re In Danger of Ending Our Days’ — Turn It On Podcast

The 'StartUp' star on his new role as a shady millionaire tech guru, plus why he's so vocal on Twitter, his track record as a producer and how he's at peace with 'Hellboy.'

Ron PerlmanRon Perlman in Vienna, Austria - 11 Jun 2015

Ron Perlman


Ron Perlman fans know he doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind on social media. And lately, he has focused that ire on the assault on democracy coming out of Washington.

“We’re in a very dangerous, very degraded moment in time where the values that everybody who came before us fought and died for are all being tromped upon,” Perlman said. “For no good end except power and greed.”

Perlman has been joking online about his own run for president: Perl2020. But what he’s really trying to do is hammer home the gravity of the situation: “If we don’t get our shit together quickly, we’re in danger of ending our days,” he told IndieWire. “I feel it’s that serious.”

Perlman is back on TV via the streaming service Crackle, and its drama “StartUp,” which recently returned for Season 2. The actor/producer dropped by IndieWire’s “Turn It On” recently to discuss his latest gig, as well as how he’s at peace with the end of his time as “Hellboy,” after a third movie didn’t happen. Listen below!

Perlman wasn’t looking to immediately get back to work after his last series, Amazon’s “Hand of God,” was canceled. “I was doing nothing but eating pizza and ice cream and I was 30 pounds overweight — and this script shows up,” he said.

But the title, at first, didn’t grab him. “When I heard the name of the show, I took a short nap, I was that interested,” he quipped. “What could you possibly extract from this world that would make it entertainment worthy? Luckily the offer came with a couple of scripts. The writing was extraordinary. Really crisp, smart, dynamic.”



A bit of a cross between “Breaking Bad” and “Mr. Robot,” “StartUp” centers on an unlikely trio who run afoul of the FBI, gang leaders and the Russian mafia as they create a new darknet prototype. Stars include Adam Brody and Martin Freeman, and in season 2, Perlman joins the cast as a millionaire tech guru with a dark edge.

“He was one of the original pirates,” Perlman said of his character, who made his fortune during the original dot.com boom. “The stakes are as high as they are because the potential for what the dark net can do… the dark net is whats responsible for the guy who sits in our White House now.”

Ah yes, Donald Trump. Perlman said he hasn’t been blocked on Twitter by the president — yet. “I’m not sure if I’m proud of that or sad,” he said of that. “I’m at this point where if you don’t take a stand in this moment in time, I don’t give a shit if you’re famous or just an average guy. My running for president was a joke but with every given day… the outrage I’m feeling about the assault over the rule of law [grows].”

One thing Perlman is indeed done talking about: “Hellboy.”

“It’s completely in my rearview mirror,” he said. “We fought a good fight to get the trilogy finished, that didn’t happen. I’m very happy with the world of creative choices now. No regrets.”

Beyond acting, Perlman is also busy growing his production company: He’s a producer on “StartUp,” among other things. “We set out to be a little movie studio, as a homage to my favorite kind of storytelling — character driven, original ideas. Non-spandex, non high concept/low character studio movies. We’ve done seven films in three years, some of which are horrible, some of which are OK, and a couple of which I think are really good.”


Ron Perlman and Michael Schneider


IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now on TV — no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.

Be sure to subscribe to “TURN IT ON” on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every week.

Below, the trailer for Season 2 of “StartUp.”


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