"Mr. & Mrs. Smith" showrunner Francesca Sloane cast her father-in-law, Ron Perlman, in the show.
The "Hellboy" and "Pacific Rim" star has a guest role in the fifth episode of the show.
"Mr. and Mrs. Smith" stars Donald Glover and Maya Erskine as married spies who carry out missions together.
"Mr. & Mrs. Smith" showrunner Francesca Sloane brought on her father-in-law, Ron Perlman, to appear in the series opposite Donald Glover and Maya Erskine.
If the show's title sounds familiar, that's because it's a reimagining of the 2005 movie of the same name starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a married couple who don't know they're both secretly spies. They go head-to-head when the secret is revealed, before ultimately turning the tables and fighting their employers.
The premise is slightly different in the 2024 show, which premieres Friday on Prime Video. John (Glover) and Jane (Erskine) Smith work for the same intelligence company, which pairs them together not only as partners in espionage but also as a married couple.
Perlman guest stars in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" as Toby, a man with an almost certainly unethical past who's being pursued by assassins. Without giving too much away, John and Jane spend an episode trying to keep Toby from being killed, while also taking care of him as if he was essentially their six-year-old son.
It's a delightful turn for the actor, who is known for roles like the titular Hellboy in Guillermo del Toro's 2004 take on the character, Clay Morrow in "Sons of Anarchy," or the bombastic Hannibal Chau in del Toro's "Pacific Rim."
Perlman spoke to BI ahead of the show's premiere, explaining that Sloane had a unique insight into writing Toby's character because she's his daughter-in-law.
"She not only knows me as an actor, but she has an inside view of my aches and pains, as one does when one sits around the Thanksgiving table," he explained.
"We leaned into the fact that I'm north of 70 now, and I was way younger when I did all that other action stuff, Perlman said. "And this is what a guy who's on the run has going for him with regard to his skillset. He's nothing but a mess."
Perlman, a prolific actor with over 200 credits to his name, is obviously far from a nepo father-in-law. On the red carpet at the show's New York City premiere Wednesday, Sloane told BI that the role presented an opportunity to riff on Perlman's storied action career.
"We wanted for that individual part to be somebody who plays badass roles all the time and is always the scarier, on-their-feet character," Sloane told BI. "And let him become a baby man so we could pose the question: 'Do you want kids?' And let him play a version of somebody his age with aches and pains."
"It just felt like an interesting choice and he really delivered on that," she continued. "Ron was very generous and he gave a lot. We made him run way too much, especially as a daughter-in-law."
And aside from being able to write for her father-in-law — and push him to his physical limits — Sloane said there are other benefits to their relationship.
"My kid gets the best bedtime stories ever with that voice," she told BI.
"Mr. and Mrs. Smith" premieres on Prime Video on Friday, February 2.
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