Sons of Anarchy star Ron Perlman created ripples when he said that he preferred his new show Hand of God to the FX hit Sons of Anarchy.
Perlman joined fellow cast members, as well as creator Ben Watkins, on a panel at the San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year to promote their new show. The attendees were treated to a sneak peek of the show as well as an in-depth discussion, facilitated by the panel. It came as no surprise that the topic of Perlman’s former show, Sons of Anarchy, was brought up by the panel. When asked about it, Perlman spoke about how he was thrilled to be working on something as scary and original as Hand of God. According to Cinema Blend, he further claimed that he found Hand of God the more exciting of the two shows.
In an interview with Esquire, Perlman spoke about how the name of his new show turned a lot of potential viewers off in the beginning, and how they have had to work to bring in new viewers.
“A lot of people automatically just rejected this show because the word ‘God’ was in the title. The minute somebody starts talking about religion, whether they’re taking a position on it or not, there’s a defensiveness from the communities that are deeply invested in that. Almost a knee jerk. A network has to take all that into consideration when they make a decision about putting something out that they’re inviting the general public to participate in.”
Earlier this month, Ron Perlman spoke with the BBC and released more details on how Hand of God came to be. With topics such as mental illness, religion, rape, and suicide featuring in just the first episode alone, Ron Perlman, along with series writer Ben Watkins and director Marc Forster, knew they had their work cut out for them.
“Being one of the guys who was taking it around town to find a producing partner, halfway through the process I became aware that we were selling something that not everyone was going to have the balls to step up to.”
He credits Amazon for the show’s launch.
“Not only did they embrace it, but they encouraged us to go as far with it as our imaginations would allow us to.”
In the series Hand of God, Perlman plays a judge named Pernell Harris who begins hearing what he thinks is the voice of God. The show also focuses on his relationship with his family, particularly the strain his job puts on his wife (Dana Delaney), his daughter-in-law (Alona Tal), as well as his suicidal son.
In a Q&A with Variety earlier in June, Perlman talked about how he was looking for a new role after six seasons of Sons of Anarchy. After reading the initial brief of Hand of God, he was instantly hooked, as it was unlike anything he had ever done before. He was intrigued with the idea of playing a character that is in a dangerous emotional, spiritual, and mental state. When asked to talk about his character, Perlman enthusiastically outlined the powerful position of the formerly-corrupt judge, Pernell Harris, who is privileged and has everything until his son tries to kill himself, sending the judge into a kind of breakdown.
After a short disappearance, he comes back, supposedly a changed man with one new addition, an ability to hear voices he thinks are sent by God. He begins to act on these voices and takes justice in his own hands, discovering that all the people he is “told” to target are, in fact, guilty, which raises the question: are the voices really the work of God?
Watch the trailer for Hand of God here.
[Photo: Charley Gallay / Getty Images]