Ron Perlman slams ‘self-important’ film critics who hated ‘Don’t Look Up’

Over the years, I’ve heard stories about Ron Perlman. Good stories, stories about how he’s a lovable curmudgeon who doesn’t suffer fools, someone beloved by costars and critics and the crew. He’s a classically trained actor who is best known for being one of the most in-demand character actors in Hollywood. In recent months, he’s appeared in Nightmare Alley, The Tragedy of Macbeth AND Don’t Look Up. In Don’t Look Up, he played a grizzled, over-the-hill military man tasked with being “the face” of the “let’s blow up the comet” plan. Apparently, Ron heard about all of the bad reviews for Don’t Look Up, and he’s here to tell everyone to f–k off.

Ron Perlman has strong words for the critics of his latest film Don’t Look Up. The 71-year-old played military officer Benedict Drask, who is chosen by the US government to be sent into space on a mission to stop a comet from colliding with earth – before the mission is aborted when it’s discovered that the comet might be worth trillions of dollars.

Don’t Look Up received mixed reviews from critics and viewers, and currently has a 55 per cent audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Speaking to The Independent, Perlman opened up about his feelings towards the film’s detractors.

“F*** you and your self-importance and this self-perpetuating need to say everything bad about something just so that you can get some attention for something that you had no idea about creating,” said the actor.

Perlman – best known for his role in the Hellboy franchise – continued: “It’s corrupt. And it’s sick. And it’s twisted.”

He said, however, that he “understands that it’s part of how the internet has almost killed journalism. And now journalism is trying to do everything they can to co-opt and maintain their importance.”

[From The Independent]

Okay, here’s the thing: Don’t Look Up wasn’t great. It had some good parts here and there, and I think there were some good lines and a few good performances. Mostly it didn’t know if it wanted to be a straight spoof, nor did Adam McKay know whether he was making fun of social media, politicians, journalists, billionaires, celebrities or all of the above. McKay needed a script doctor to cut out some of the B-plots, and the President Orlean character could have been a much smarter satirical character, but alas, McKay thinks Democrats and Republicans are the same. That’s my criticism of the film, and I’m saying that as someone who watched it and felt meh about it. Why did this dumb movie (with a bloated script) inspire such strong feelings for or against? Does Rob Perlman really believe that people don’t have the right to… like, have opinions about art?

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and Niko Tavernise/Netflix

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36 Responses to “Ron Perlman slams ‘self-important’ film critics who hated ‘Don’t Look Up’”

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  1. Seaflower says:

    I really enjoyed it as I found it to be a great statement of where the world is today in terms of billionaires influencing govt/politicians, politicians doing what is popular not what is right, the belittling/ignoring of science, the mass media, the attention economy… were parts overly long, yes, but I thought it hit it out of the park.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I don’t get all the hate…

    • Jan90067 says:

      I just watched it yesterday, and I liked it (as in, it was “ok”). It felt like a serious sci-fi movie at first, then jumped to parody of politics. Some of the characters morphed into cartoonish characters IMO. Perlman’s performance, to me, was straight out of Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove”. Leo’s character ping-ponged all over the place; JLaw’s was good and pretty consistent. Cate Blanchette (whom I just don’t like as she’s a Woody apologist) was actually pretty good as a bitchy tv tabloid anchor. Mark Rylance, as the billionaire….well… I was *so* distracted by the ill-fitting dental appliance he wore! Meryl Streep as the Trump-like, smoking, tattooed President…and Jonah Hill as her “Don Jr/Eric”! Now THAT was funny! Lol
      While it wasn’t the best, it wasn’t the worst. It needed to pick a lane and stay in it.

      • Steph says:

        I thought Meryl Streep was supposed to be Hillary inspired, given the director’s Bernie Bro inclinations. It felt off having a fictional woman president act like Trump when we’ve experienced the real life misogyny and general awfulness of Trump first hand.

      • Jan90067 says:

        Steph, she may’ve started out in the first few min. as a “Hillary”, but *quickly* morphed into TFG, complete with the unhinged rallies, crazy, red-neck, hat-wearing crowds.

    • MissMarirose says:

      I was “meh” on it. It’s basically Doctor Strangelove combined with Armaggedon and Deep Impact. The problem is that Strangelove was a satire written in a very different time – the JFK/LBJ era. Whatever you may think of their politics, they were both serious men who took the job seriously.
      This movie was a satire of Donald Trump, who is himself a living, breathing satire and one whose narcissism and absurdity has this country on the edge of tyranny. You can’t really satirize that.

  2. Normades says:

    Meh. I liked it and thought some of the hate reviews were over the top but whatever. He shouldn’t take it so personally.

  3. It was an okay movie saved by Jennifer Lawrence’s performance. Not everyone has to love your work. Also can someone please tell me what it is with men who can’t take anything other than praise? If a woman said this she would be crucified. I am so tired of it.

    • ITA. I guess we can add Perlman to the ever-growing list of whiny celebs who can’t stand the “little people” being anything less than worshipful.

    • North of Boston says:

      I was meh about it, thought the “sexy scientist” nonsense derailed it a bit, thought JLaw, TC and ML brought it but just about everyone else was hamming it up, yes even Mark Rylance. It may have been aiming for Dr Strangelove territory but wound up somewhere else.

      McCay somehow managed to out-Sorkin Sorkin in the self-righteous soapboxer who is so busy thinking he’s making the greatest most-insightful thing ever made that he doesn’t bother hiring a script editor to focus on 2 or 3 points instead of ALLTHETHINGS! And then get pissy when not everyone praises the project and its creator.

      RP’s comments lead me to think less of him.

      • Normades says:

        Funny thing is if this was real life nobody would think DiCaprio’s character was hot unless he was Leonardo DiCaprio. He looked just like an average middle age guy.

    • Mac says:

      All. of the characters, including Perleman’s, were based on overused stereotypes. There was was nothing original about the movie, plus it was over long, dull, and immensely self important.

  4. smcollins says:

    I don’t get the divisiveness over this, either. I didn’t care for it (even though I really wanted to love it) and my husband hated it (he bailed out half way through, I powered through to the end), but that’s how movies work, not every one is going to be this critically-acclaimed masterpiece. Some fall flat or straight-up miss the mark. I think because of the heavy star power of Don’t Look Up expectations were high (I know mine were) and it just wasn’t enough to save the film. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  5. Lightpurple says:

    He’s a good Twitter follow.

  6. A.Key says:

    God forbid someone dislikes his work. Wow these people in Hollywood are a sensitive bunch aren’t they? It’s amazing how none of them can take any criticism.

    And yes, the movie sucked balls. I couldn’t finish it because it was so boring. We got the point 15 minutes in, yes the entire social structure is unprepared for anything serious and the responses are always inadequate. Yes everyone is interested in the wrong things, social media and celebrity culture suck, bla bla. We got it. We don’t need to have this repeated and shoved down our throats for the next 2 hours in every following scene, over and over again. Yes we got the parallels with the pandemic and American politics again after the first 15 min. Yes it was all vividly clear. But you can keep repeating the same joke or point only so much.

  7. MsIam says:

    I bailed on this movie and I’m not sure if I want to go back to finish it. There were lots of interesting performances, although I found JLaw’s character annoying (sorry) but the movie as a whole was meh. It definitely took the scenic route to get where it was supposed to be going but I was ready to get off the train sooner rather than later.

  8. Kat says:

    Yeah I liked the movie but it wasn’t amazing. I agree – it couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a ridiculous satire or a politically charged action movie about saving the planet. You can’t have it all and this movie needed a lot more editing than it received.

    Also, people are allowed to not LOVE a movie even if they like the message behind it.

    Much like how older generations complain about younger people wanting an award for everything they do – he Isn’t inherently due only praise for creating something. Art is meant to be critiqued.

  9. Wendy says:

    The killer comet was more believable than Leo having sex with a woman over 30.

  10. Sarah B says:

    Friendly reminder to watch the clip at the end of the credits. It’s goooood.

  11. Trish says:

    I actually feel him on this. I loved this movie and told everyone to watch it. I didn’t understand the hate or the indifference to it. I was genuinely surprised cos I thought it was brilliant, but that is the thing about art. It evokes strong emotion from people either way.
    Reminds me of the movie Mother and how people were split on it.
    It’s not the end of the world if you don’t like a movie, but I get how he got huffy and tweeted in the moment. We all do it. (Those on twitter)

  12. Sof says:

    I laughed out loud because a family member said a similar thing about this movie! He said that people who criticize it have no idea what it’s like to do a movie and that they need to get off their high horses.
    Haven’t watched it myself but I agree with his views of certain people exaggerating the bad stuff to get attention and that traditional media has realized they need to regain popularity at any cost.

  13. Wiglet Watcher says:

    It wasn’t great. I think the breakdown down by Kaiser is exact.
    And it was a waste of a good cast!

  14. Bettyrose says:

    Plot wise it’s a formulaic disaster movie, but so is reality at this point. It’s well written, packed with great actors, and most of all is timely, relevant, and just what we need right now.

  15. Songs (Or It Didn't Happen) says:

    There’s a thing going around Facebook about how critics are slamming the movie because it “exposes the mainstream media’s bias and influence and how they are complicit” or…..something like that.

    Just because a movie is IMPORTANT doesn’t mean you are required to like it, just because you don’t like an IMPORTANT film doesn’t make you stupid or ignorant or evil.

    There is a very very ugly side of people coming out over this movie and I don’t understand why.

    • North of Boston says:

      You’re right! That’s what’s off about RP’s and AMcK’s comments – the personal attacks on people who (checks notes) didn’t like a movie, hyperbolically assigning all kinds of motivations, agendas, conspiracies to them.

      Like, dudes, I feel for you that a project you worked on didn’t receive universal acclaim or ALL the accolades you ever dreamed of. But that’s life; there are no laws that say all people or even all decent moral truthful people have to love all your products or art.

  16. girl_ninja says:

    I thought it was quite funny how upset all the critics were. I watched it and was mostly meh about it, but it also had very compelling parts. So many of us are high strung and sensitive with all that has been going for these past few years.

  17. L4Frimaire says:

    I liked the movie overall. Liked the performances, and the premise was interesting. It was a bit too long but don’t get the strong reactions to it from both the critics and defenders. But on the other hand, I liked Melancholia, another film about the Earth being taken out by another space object and that one was kinda weird.

  18. J says:

    He’s such a jerk. Can’t take it but can dish it out?

    Strange, thought he would be super happy with his trophy girlfriend and standing upon the shredded heart of his ex wife

  19. Rice says:

    “Mostly it didn’t know if it wanted to be a straight spoof, nor did Adam McKay know whether he was making fun of social media, politicians, journalists, billionaires, celebrities or all of the above.”

    This sums up how I felt about it. The “Meh-ness” was strong with this movie. It should have been called “Disaster Movie 2: The World is Ending, I think?”

  20. 2lazy4username says:

    I don’t think it was nearly as important or deep as it wanted to be. I felt kinda hit over the head with a bat for most of it. “Look! Look how brilliant and biting and timely I am! Get it?” I struggled to finish it and in the end I’m glad I did, but only because the dinner table conversation and the credits clip were my favorite parts.

  21. Grant says:

    Don’t Look Up actually was pretty great, TBH. I’m honestly shocked that it was so polarizing. I think everyone in that massive ensemble cast did great and it actually was kind of frighteningly poignant if that makes any sense.

  22. Becks says:

    I have seen him walking his elderly dog in Pasadena. The way he takes care of his senior dog who can barely walk makes him score points with me, lol. I have a soft spot for him because of this, as his doggie is clearly loved and taken care of. That’s all I think of when I see Ron Perlman 🙂

  23. Kitten says:

    It was a decent but flawed movie. The “both sides” stuff is probably from David Sirota, who was a co-creator on the film.

  24. Miasys says:

    Much like Idiocracy, this movie was a little too close to reality (in some areas) for me. It was funny, horrifying, disturbing social commentary and a train wreck all rolled up together. All that aside…my dude. This is not a good look for you. A woman would be eviscerated for these comments.

  25. Keri says:

    Loved it. Watched it thrice