Last weekend saw the premiere of ‘Hellboy’ and our roving reporter Marx Pyle caught up with actor Douglas Tait for a brief chat about his experience of playing one of the film’s monsters.
ScifiPulse: Can you tell us a little about the Hellboy character you’ve played?
Douglas Tait: I play Gruagach. Gruagach is a Man/Boar who seeks revenge on Hellboy throughout the film. It was a full creature suit with an animatronic head.
SciFiPulse: How long did it take to be fully transformed into your character each film day?
Douglas Tait: It took less than an hour to get in the suit and the head. The head was the last thing to go on me. It was attached to a battery pack for the servos to move in the face. The head weighed about 50 pounds and would get extremely heated while I was in it.
SciFiPulse: What traits do you think are needed to be a good actor with all of that make-up on?
Douglas Tait: I think being flexible, and good with movement. I train specifically in animal and primal movement. Being tall, lean, and athletic is helpful. The years of experience acting in different makeups has been the biggest help in me becoming better.
SciFiPulse: Was there any approaches you took with Hellboy on your character? Like certain kind of movements, you worked in to communicate something about your character?
Douglas Tait: Absolutely. I trained with a 40-pound weight vest, walking in a squat position to get comfortable with the Gruagach walk. I also used a harness with weight on my head to strengthen my neck. The neck pressure from the animatronic head was grueling. I would try to push myself with my training to make it easier once I got on set, but it was still exhausting. It took several weeks of being in the suit to get somewhat comfortable with what I was doing.
For those not in the know. Douglas Tait also had the leading villain role in the small independent science fiction film ‘The Boogeys’ in which he played the Boogy. You can check his performance out in the video, which we have embedded below.