X-Men Origins: Wolverine is mostly about how title character Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman, originated. But movie goers also will get some of the back story of other characters, including one called Blob. Comics fans know Blob as the ultra-obese member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but in the movie, he's an extremely muscular mercenary who does something he regrets while on a mission and deals with his guilt by eating way too much pizza. "He Blobs out," explains Kevin Durand, the buff, towering star of Lost, Smokin' Aces, 3:10 to Yuma and Wild Hogs. "At first we [filmed] Fat Blob stuff, and that was just an absolute laugh and it was sad. And then with Muscle Blob – I call him Muscle Blob – we did get to do a wee bit of action. I got to beat up a tank, which was cool." Our Brian Truitt talked to the Canadian actor, who's currently filming Robin Hood with Russell Crowe in and around London, about playing an 800-pound behemoth, a Norse god (possibly) and one of Robin Hood's Merry Men. Click read more below for their entertaining Q&A.
Photos courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
I hear you donned the most high-tech fat suit ever for the Blob.
I was involved with the suit for about six months before I went to Australia, so we were doing fittings, trying to figure out how to make it move, how to make it look right, but I had to be fairly agile in it.
What was it like to have it on? Did it drive you nuts or did you lose yourself in it?
It was really hot. [Laughs] Race car drivers, when they’re in the driver’s seat as they’re racing, the levels of heat are so intense that they have these T-shirts that were made with this tubing that goes through the shirt, and it’s hooked up to an icebox. The water circulates through the shirt. I had the same kind of contraption on me, so between takes, they would hook me up to the icebox and it would cool me so my head didn’t melt off.
That sounds like an interesting experience.
Yeah. “Oh my God, I’m so frickin’ hot! Oh my God, I’m freezing!”
It’s a wonder you didn’t get pneumonia.
Yeah, absolutely. But I gotta tell you, it’s the coolest thing to watch yourself when you’re 800 pounds. And I’m kind of obsessive-compulsive with my weight training, so it was really awesome and wild just to see what could happen if I went down that route: gave up the gym and just gave in to all of my cravings.
I would think that'd be a good motivational tool.
My dad and my mom got onto Skype with me when I was in Blob, and my mother was just crying for about a half hour of laughter. And then finally I was like, “What is so funny?” because she couldn’t stop. My dad for years has been teasing her about her weight, and then all of a sudden in the last year or so my dad had put on a bit of weight, and she said, “Oh my God, you look exactly like Dad!” And we all cried of laughter forever, and my father was really [ticked] off. So he’s lost about 25 pounds since he’s seen me in my Blob outfit.
Had you wanted to do a superhero movie before this?
I train a lot and I’m 6-foot-6 and everyone always said, “Well, the superhero movies are going to be a big thing for you. You can be Captain America, or you should be Thor!” You always let your ego kind of go there – “Yeah, I should be Thor!” – and then I became Blob. And it was like, well, how did that happen? [Laughs] It’s kind of funny. Who is it that saw me acting and thought, “Ah, there’s the Blob.” But you know, I’m so thankful for it because it’s so against the grain of what I normally do. I really enjoyed it and what I’ve seen, I really love seeing it. That’s a totally different guy. I like to disappear in my characters – I REALLY disappeared into this guy.
Literally. But would you do another one, maybe as somebody with not as much fat on him?
I would definitely step in as Blob again, but yeah, I’m open. I had been hoping that they’d give me a call on Thor.
Did you audition for the upcoming Kenneth Branagh movie?
Apparently, they don’t want a 6-foot-6, 250-pound Thor, dude. But Thor is 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds! I don’t know what they’re looking for. I think they’re looking for someone prettier. Which is fine. My ego’s not crushed.
You are playing Little John in the upcoming Robin Hood movie, though. We've only seen Russell on the set so far, but it sounds neat. What can you tell us? It’s Little John like you’ve never seen him before. He’s the baddest dude and it’s so much fun. I shot a movie that’s coming out in January called Legion, and I got to fly around on these wires and do that amazing martial arts stuff you saw in Crouching Tiger. When I got to do this stuff and I sunk my teeth into it, I was like, 'OK, I’ve got a 20-year window to bash my body in so throw me some of these characters!' It’s like being a little boy playing in the neighborhood.
Do you have to cater your weight training to your film schedules?
I just train all year round, and I’ll cater it to whatever character I’m playing next. Little John, I didn’t want him to be little so I started lifting a little bit heavier and did a lot more movement-based training with a lot of martial arts and boxing, and working with a staff. Usually just lifting and some form of cardiovascular exercise.
I can’t imagine anybody who’s 6-foot-6 being “little” at any point.
Yeah, but 6-foot-6 me at 18, you saw a big head and this stringbean body, these massive hands and these massive feet, just trying to keep it all moving in one direction. And if I got out into the wind, I was in trouble. That’s probably part of why I got a little bit obsessive.