BY Ethan Sacks
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
The aptly-named Death Mountains in the Austrian Alps in the middle of winter seem a lot farther from Washington Heights than just the other side of the planet, but somehow that’s just where native New Yorker Ron Perlman found himself filming his latest movie, “Season of the Witch.”
“We shot a whole bunch of stuff at night, where we’re chasing the witch when she escapes from the cage,” says the 60-year-old actor. “And I think we shot that sequence over six nights, culminating in a scene where there’s a horrific cesspool, a graveyard of these plague-ridden bodies. And I think the temperature dropped that night to 15 below zero Celsius.”
Even worse than the New York blizzard.
It was all worth it, he says, for the chance to work opposite Nicholas Cage on the medieval horror movie about a pair of disillusioned Crusaders forced to transport a teenage girl, suspected of being a witch who brought about the Bubonic plague, to trial.
But how does the son of an electronics teacher and an employee of the City Clerk’s office make it all the way out there?
“He just gets really, really lucky,” says Perlman. “It’s like a Dr. Suess story, ‘Oh the Places I Will Go.’”
Outside of school, you could find the teenage Perlman on the basketball court in Inwood Park playing pickup basketball with a young Lew Alcindor Jr., years before his legendary NBA career as Kareem Aubdul-Jabbar.