Summer Movies Q&A

'Hellboy II': Meet Luke Goss, the New Nemesis

He's sung in a boy band and acted in ''Grease'' on stage -- so how did he wind up as the creepy villain in Guillermo Del Toro's comic-book fantasy?

Luke Goss, Hellboy II: The Golden Army | LUKE GOSS as Prince Nuada in Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Image credit: Egon Endrenyi
LUKE GOSS as Prince Nuada in Hellboy II: The Golden Army

The casting of British actor Luke Goss as the villain of Guillermo Del Toro's 2001 sequel Blade II was not overly welcomed by fans of the horror franchise. ''They were like, 'Oh s---, not this guy!''' Goss laughs. ''They didn't even know who I was. But they'd heard I was in a band a thousand years ago and they were, like, 'Oh, f--- him!' That musical act was Bros, a late-'80s boy band that scored sudden, massive success in the U.K. before flaming out just as quickly. Following the group's breakup, Goss spent much of the '90s touring Britain in stage versions of Grease and Plan 9 From Outer Space, before embarking on a movie career.

Goss' Hollywood endeavors have greatly benefited from the patronage of Del Toro, who recruited him again for Hellboy II: The Golden Army. In the film (opening Friday), Goss plays an elf prince who faces off against Ron Perlman's titular big red superhero, Selma Blair's fire-starting Liz Sherman, and Doug Jones' fish-man Abe Sapien. EW.com spoke to the now L.A.-dwelling British thesp about the film, his hopes for a role in Del Toro's forthcoming Hobbit adaptation, and why you shouldn't play ''Summer Nights'' when he comes around for tea and crumpets.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, how does a nice British lad become Guillermo Del Toro's go-to baddie?
LUKE GOSS:
I don't know. I keep thinking Ashton Kutcher will show up and punk me. But he hasn't yet.

Maybe he forgot.
Yeah. Or he was late and they're thinking, We've established him now! We've spent all this money on make-up and training! S---, we're going to have to use him! No, I did a movie called ZigZag with John Leguizamo, which was the directorial debut of David Goyer [the writer of all three Blade films]. He called Guillermo and said, ''Look, I think you need to meet this guy.'' Guillermo's been really instrumental in changing my life as far as acting's concerned. He's loyal in a business that doesn't encourage loyalty.

What can you tell us about Hellboy II?
The first film I thought was kind of cute. But this one is way, way more magnificent. The intensity is tenfold. The stories that run through this film are much more complex than the first. My character, Nuada, is technically the bad guy. But his whole premise is to do with nobility and the rights of his people. I would defy anybody to not understand exactly why he's doing what he's doing. And that's the cool thing. Del Toro doesn't want to keep it that simple. The same as with the ending — I won't say anything, but there's nothing stereotypical about it.

Was it a tough shoot?
I don't think I'll ever do a film that's harder than this. I filmed a movie called Bone Dry, a thriller in the Mojave desert in one of the hottest recorded summers, for five weeks. And it was a walk in the park compared to Hellboy. It was six-day weeks for nine months. I had 22-hour days sometimes. I remember getting home at 12:45 at night and then getting my wake-up call at 2:50 the same morning and just going to work again. Literally, Ron, Selma, Doug, and myself, we were literally sometimes in our chairs with our heads down — like, gone, out — and the assistant directors would wake you up and you just strike a pose, like, whose arse are you going to kick now? You don't know where you are.

NEXT PAGE: ''This time — not to sound like a wanker — [fans] were actually really pleased that I was in the film and they were genuinely quite supportive. It's a nice turnaround.''

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