The youngest of four brothers, Doug Jones was born on the 24th May, 1960, in Indiapolis, Indiana, and gre up in the city's Northeastside. After attending Bishop Chatard High School, he headed off to Ball State University, where he graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor's degree in Telecommunications and a minor in Theatre.
He learned mime at school, joining a troupe called "Mime Over Matter" and doing the whole white-faced thing. “I was a mime for one summer at Kings Island theme park in Cincinnati, Ohio after graduating Ball State. Scaring children from Kentucky is basically what you do down there,” he said with a laugh.
Doug has also worked as a contortionist. “You’d be surprised how many times that comes into play in commercials. They’ll want somebody to hold a box of Tide funny or something. I once squished into a box for a commercial for relaxed fit jeans.” He is nearing 100 TV commercials now, including the McDonald's character he made famous around the world, Mac Tonight.
After a hitch in theatre in Indiana, he moved to Los Angeles in 1985, and has not been out of work since - he's acted in over 25 films, many television series (Including the award-winning Buffy The Vampire Slayer, his episode 'Hush' garnering two Emmy nominations) over 90 commercials and music videos with the likes of Madonna, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Marilyn Manson.
Although known mostly for his iconic work under prosthetics, such as the floppy zombie 'Billy' in the Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, or the lead Spy Morlock in the 2001 remake The Time Machine, he has also performed as 'himself' in such highly-rated films as Adaptation with Nicholas Cage, Mystery Men with Ben Stiller, Batman Returns with Danny DeVito, and indie projects such as Stefan Haves' Stalled, Phil Donlon's A Series of Small Things, and as 'Cesare' in David Fisher's daring 2005 remake of the 1919 silent classic The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari.
But it is his sensitive and elegant performance as 'Abe Sapien' in Hellboy, which stormed to the top of the U.S. box office in the spring of 2004, that brought him an even higher profile and much praise from both audiences and critics.
In 2005 he renewed his association with Mexican director Guillermo del Toro when he starred in the title role of 'Pan' in del Toro's Spanish language fantasy/horror project El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth). He also has a cameo in the film as 'The Pale Man', a gruesome creature with a penchant for eating children. Working once more under heavy prosthetics in both roles, he also was required to learn huge chunks of dialogue in archaic Spanish - which he did perfectly.
2005 continued to be a hectic year for Doug, with roles in Doom, The Benchwarmers and Lady in the Water, the latter being the brainchild of award-winning cult director/writer M. Night Shyamalan. The year also brought success for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the film reaping three awards at the Screamfest Horror Festival in Los Angeles, including the coveted Audience Choice Award.
He also stepped out from behind the prosthetics for several roles, most notably to guest-star as freaked-out drug addict 'Domino Thacker' in the episode 'Blood Hungry' of the hugely popular TV series Criminal Minds, his jittery, unnerving performance being lauded by cast, crew and audiences alike.
Doug continued his collaboration with Guillermo del Toro into 2006, as he reprised his role as 'Abe Sapien' by voicing the character in the new Hellboy Animated television project, recording two 70-minute animated films.
On December 18th, 2006, he finished filming his role as the 'Silver Surfer' in the film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which hit theaters in June 2007, Doug's haunting performance as the' Surfer' bringing universal praise from critics and cinema audiences. He also attended the Oscars for the first time as El Laberinto del Fauno garnered six nominations, winning three, including triumph for the makeup team behind the creation of Doug's characters, the Barcelona-based DDT Efectos Especiales led by David Marti and Montse Ribe. This was the crowning glory for a film that won countless major awards throughout the world and has since become acknowledged as a cinematic masterpiece.
On May 16th, 2007, Doug headed out to Budapest, Hungary, to reprise his role as 'Abe Sapien' in the sequel to Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, which began filming on June 8th, 2007, and once more under the direction of Guillermo del Toro. Playing all of 'Abe' this time, voice and performance, Doug played two other roles, the 'Angel of Death' and 'The Chamberlain,' both under heavy prosthetics. The film hit Number One at the box office on its opening weekend in the U.S.A.
Doug has also been expanding his voice work resumé, including work on the indie short movie Rise, the independent film Man in the Silo and the animated film Quantum Quest - A Cassini Space Odyssey.
2008 has brought more screen work, including guest cameos in Super Capers, Legion and Quarantine, as well as a highly-acclaimed performance on the television series Fear Itself, starring in the episode Skin and Bones directed by cult horror director Larry Fessenden. Doug's chilling performance as possessed rancher 'Grady Edlund' won rave reviews from critics and audiences alike.
But most satisfying of all is his starring role in the independent film My Name is Jerry, shot in his home state of Indiana with fellow Ball State University alumnus director Morgan Mead. In what he calls his 'dream role' written specially for him, he worked in the summer of 2008 in Muncie, Indiana with a unique crew combining industry professionals and film students from Ball State, giving many talented young film makers a chance to gain experience in a professional production. The film will be released in 2009.
When he has spare time (an increasingly rare occurance these days!) he loves to rollerblade at Venice Beach, and is a pretty decent barber - he cuts his own hair and is known to happily give haircuts to cast and crew while on location - he says he finds it cathartic! He also loves to sing (He has a smooth and very versatile baritone voice), and is an active member of his church choir - singing gospel music at the top of his lungs is one of his favourite things, and he is a very popular solo singer. One of the items on his 'To Do' list is to record an album sometime in the future when he can put aside the time, along with his long-held ambition to write his first novel.
A deeply spiritual man, Doug is often asked to talk at youth festivals and universities, and indeed many of the independent films he makes have a spiritual leaning. His faith in God means a great deal to him, and he is an active member of Media Fellowship International, a Christian group working within the entertainment industry.
Doug and his wife Laurie also mentor young people who wish to work in the medium of film and are beginning their careers in the business. Not having children of their own, and remembering how hard it was for Doug when he started out, he and Laurie now provide a kind of surrogate parental support mechanism for many young folks struggling to make their way in a very tough industry. They are affectionately known as the 'Puppies,' and they are all very proud of their moniker!
Doug and Laurie live in California, but return home to visit Indiana whenever they can.
HT: Congratulations on all your recent success.
DJ: The funny thing with me is that I’ve been working under the radar for the past 20 years. I think it was because of “Hellboy” that I became a spec in the celebrity radar where people were looking at ‘who’s that fish guy?’ I think because of “Pan’s Labyrinth” I’ve sort of been thrust out there because I was the only American actor in a Spanish film so I kind of became the guy that they interviewed a lot here in the States.
HT: I remember Guillermo Del Toro raving about you on a few interviews for “Hellboy” so I knew I may see you again in his film, then “Pan’s Labyrinth” happened.
DJ: Guillermo’s one of those directors where if he likes you then he’s going to use you again and again. He said in an interview that as long as he’s going to be making movies he’s going to have a monster on his call sheet, and as long as he’s going to have a monster I’ll probably be there. (laughs) What’s so good about Guillermo is that he’s a film fan first and he loves to watch movies in the sc-fi, horror, comic book genres, so he likes to make these big budget American action movies with a studio attached, but between those jobs he likes to go back to his home language and make an Independent film in which he has complete reign over. I think that’s why “Pan’s Labyrinth” won so many Oscars.
HT: It really was completely his vision wasn’t it.
DJ: Oh, every aspect of that movie was his fingerprint. It won Oscars for Art Direction, Make up, and Cinematography.
HT: To beat out those big budget Hollywood movies in those categories …….
DJ: It was huge!
HT: Again, it shows what kind of spectacular imagination and vision the man has.
DJ: Again, he has department heads that he’ll use again and again because they do excellent work. This little foreign film we did was only about $15 million. By European standards that’s huge but by American standards that’s a relationship drama with no effects in it whatsoever, but he made a huge movie on $15 million, and a lot of it was because favors were pulled. A lot of us took cuts in salary because we knew Guillermo was going to do it and it was a labor of love. We all knew that Guillermo was going to make a brilliant piece of art, so we all wanted to be a part of it.
HT: Tell me about that moment after you finished reading the e-mailed script of “Pan Labyrinth”?
DJ: (Sighs) My eyes welled up when I turned the last page, and I knew that I had to be in this movie. He told me in that e-mail he sent from Spain that he was working on “Pan’s Labyrinth” and that I was only person that could play the title character of ‘Pan’. ‘Please read the script and get back to me’, he said. It’s very intimidating to have a huge director that you respect say that because it’s humbling as can be. My first thought was ‘oh, surely someone else is going to be better at this than I am. I’m going to fail him!’ It’s intimidating enough when you’re up against other actors.
HT: Like Ron Perlman, who has proved that he could play characters in monster make up, and has worked with Guillermo more times than you have.
DJ: Right! Or if someone like Andy Serkis (played ‘King Kong’ and ‘Gollum’) were up for a role. But when he’s just coming to you and nobody else is being considered because ‘you’re perfect for it’, that’s intimidating too in a completely different way, because now I’m competing against myself. You keep asking yourself, “Can I do this? Can I do a spectacular job where everybody’s clapping and thankful that they got me, or cursing ‘why did we get this Doug Jones guy!”
HT: The film was not only the darling of the Oscars and the Golden Globes, but it is now the biggest money making film ever from Mexico. And it has become a timeless classic that people will enjoy long after this year. At what point did you see the possibility of this little film transcending beyond all expectations?
DJ: As soon as I read the script I thought it was an amazing story! And if you’re telling a good story then you’re going to be successful. But of course when you go into a film medium its not the pages anymore, it becomes a visual and sound medium as well. So, all of those elements coming together under the tutelage of Guillermo Del Toro, I had much confidence that we were going to make something that I knew the critics were going to respond to well. I knew that the Europeans and of course, the Latin American countries would love it, but I really did not know what it would do here. I knew the art house crowd were going to appreciate it, but when teenagers were turning out in droves to see the film, and people with college degrees in grey hair were lining up to see the film. It was such a wide cross section of people that had felt something when they watched this movie. What I keep hearing is that it touches into their childhood. People are able to re-live their own childhood and deal with the monsters that they were haunted by in their childhood, much like Ofelia was haunted by the monsters in hers, being her evil stepfather, and all the monsters in her fantasy world were of course the reflections of the reality monsters, I think. There are so many layers that you could interpret from this film. You can make a horror film with blood spurting any day but when that fits into a story where the violence, the horror, and gore makes sense it actually pushes the characters and the storyline forward to the point that you feel so much for this character Ofelia, played BRILLIANTLY by Ivana Baquero. I loved working with her. I’ve seen the movie five times and I always cry at the end of the film, and it does want to make you want to make right choices in your life, to overcome your demons from your childhood, and move forward with your life, and hopefully live your life in eternal glory like we saw happen in the film. And if you’re a person of faith that story has a lot of parallels too, which I do so that’s why it resonated so much with me.
HT: I think Guillermo knew that he needed you to make his vision of ‘Pan’ come alive.
DJ: I think so. I’m very aware of where my body is at all times because communicating is a full body experience therefore acting should be too. My favorite form of art is sculpture because I love shapes so much, when I see a great piece of sculpture I like to walk around it to see how it changes, so I guess I want that to be me too. I want to be a living breathing sculpture so shapes are very important to me.
HT: What kind of childhood did you have in Indiana?
DJ: My parents were very supportive and they stayed married, which in this day and age is harder to come by isn’t it.
HT: Usually, it’s at this point I get the ‘I moved to my grandmother’s house, or I moved to L.A. with my mother after my dad left.’
DJ: It’s unfortunate that that’s the more common story now. I really did have more of the Cleaver upbringing with parents that loved each other very much. I have three older brothers who were all handsome and muscular, and I was the geeky kid who didn’t do athletics very well. Now we’re touching on my monsters from my childhood. That was brutal insecurity. School life was tough for me on the inside but I never let it show because I became the class clown to make up for it. I would be the guy that’ll do arm pit farts and walk funny to get a laugh before people would look at me and laugh at me for no reason.
HT: You must’ve excelled in drama?
DJ: I did. I got lost in that. Any time there was a play, a variety show, or a musical I was on that stage. At the high school level it’s easy to be the stand out guy when you want it that badly. I could’ve tried to follow my brothers and tried to become an athlete like them but it was better for me to find my own thing that I could call my own, because when you’re the youngest of four kids any kid out there that’s the youngest could relate that you do need a thing of your own. I did run track and cross country well but one of my brothers was a star, he was State contender in Indiana so I was Richie’s little brother. But on stage I was just Dougie Jones so that meant the world to me.
HT: Were you teased at school?
DJ: Well, when you’re a tall skinny kid a lot of animal references would happen. I was called ostridge, giraffe, but since I was the goofy class clown guy it fit together somehow. I don’t want to boo hoo too much about how hard it was but it’s hard for any kid, and I learned that when you are a teenager you think you’re the only one going through these issues. But when you grow up and become an adult and hear other people’s stories you find out that all of us felt that way.
HT: Kids are cruel, and those demons live on.
DJ: Until we slay them.
HT: Did you have the ‘I will show them one day’ motivation?
DG: I’ve never had a ‘I’m going to show the kids from high school what I’ve become now.’ I’ve never had a revenge motivation ever. I just knew that it felt really good when I got up on a stage and people were laughing or crying at what I did, and applauding at what I did. That was love and acceptance to me, and if it felt that good then this is what I needed to do for my job. I also grew up getting lost in adult sitcoms like “I Live Lucy”, “Dick Van Dyke”, “Mary Tyler Moore Show”, “Bob Newhart”, and I loved the comedy sketches and the musical numbers on “The Carroll Burnett Show”. And when you’re sitting at home and you’re kind of afraid to go outside because you don’t want to get laughed at again, the people on TV kind of become good friends to you, and I just felt like I needed to be in that TV one day. If that’s where my friends lived then I had to be in there with them. So, that was kind of a motivator for me.
HT: So, in the back of your mind you wanted to make a difference for young people one day as well?
DJ: Absolutely! There are many times in my career where I feel like ‘what is all this about really? I’m making goofy faces on TV and getting paid for it. Am I really doing anything for anybody?’ I’ll tell you what, when someone comes at you from the public and says, ‘man, you really scared me in that movie you did’ or ‘when you played ‘The Gentleman’ on ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’. Everything from that to one of my favorite stories happened just a week ago. I was at a comic book convention in Holland, and a young girl came to me shaking. She was so nervous and shy to meet me, and she told me a story that her sister had been murdered a year ago. And this girl had danced, painted, and was just a very emotionally charged girl, and when her sister was murdered she lost all that. She lost her will to live herself, she lost all her creativity, and she was put on mood enhancing drugs, but also disconnected all her creative juices. She kind of became a walking zombie for the past year. And she told me that when she saw “Pan’s Labyrinth” and watching the faun dealing with little Ofelia was what brought her back to life again. She said ‘you made me laugh again, you made me cry again, I could feel again, and you made me want to go home and paint. She said that she looked up my website TheDougJonesExperience.com and she saw in the trivia section that I collected dolphins, so she pulls up from under her arm a rolled up canvas, and a BEAUTIFUL painting comes unrolling of four dolphins swimming upwards. It’s very positive, vibrant painting of these dolphins. It’s just really good art! And that’s the first painting this girl had done in a year and she gave it to me, as a thanks for helping her come alive again. Now, THAT is the kind of effect I want to have! The next time I ask myself ‘am I doing anything worthwhile? Am I just flapping my arms and legs around on film and getting paid for it?’ The answer is if this young girl who was contemplating on ending her own life, and wondering what it was all about, and feeling depressed because there was nothing to live for now has something to live for because she was inspired by our movie then yes, it is worthwhile doing this work.
HT: That’s like a person waking up from a coma.
DJ: It is. And she can’t be the only one out there, so maybe there’s other work I have yet to do that might effect people like that.
HT: Guillermo felt that the character ‘Pale Man’ was a creation of ‘Pan’. Was it important for you to see it the same way?
DJ: He did tell me that in his sick mind ‘Pale man’ was created by ‘Pan’ as Ofelia’s test, and that’s why it was important for him to have me play both of them. But the faun and the ‘Pale Man’ had completely different body languages so it was ‘yummy’ for me. My main focus was the playing the faun, but to break away from playing the faun for one week to play this inherently evil, child eating character that had been asleep for decades and now waking up with creeky legs, was just delicious for me to play.
HT: But learning your Spanish dialogue was even harder than all of that right?
DJ: I started by trying to do it phonetically, in fact Guillermo sat with me in his office one day to record every line of my dialogue. So I got the accent and the flavor of the language by listening to it, but when it came to memorizing it my brain works visually, more than it does audibly, so I needed to see the words on the page and breakdown the sentence structure, and translate what meant what during those scenes. I really had to go learn the language of the scene, whether I knew how to speak Spanish on the street or not didn’t matter because I did know it for the scenes.
HT: You wanted to contribute more despite Guillermo’s offer to just dub the lines in post production right?
DJ: That’s exactly right. I was terrified going into it knowing that speaking Spanish was part of these characters because he speaks paragraphs. And he did say, “You can count to ten for all I care, just pause at the right place and give me the right mood, and I’ll dub over you.” And I just couldn’t because I wouldn’t have felt good about myself. Flying home from Spain I felt very very satisfied that I pulled this off.
HT: Where did you get your training after high school?
DJ: I went to Ball State University where I majored in Radio and TV Broadcasting with a minor in theatre. And when I came to L.A. in 1985 I took a TV Commercial Workshop with the late Philip Carr. Finding an acting teacher is like finding a psychiatrist, and because of him I got my start out here.
When you’re from Indiana you’re very aware that showbiz doesn’t live there with you. I would always see the sun setting in the west and I knew that’s where I needed to be.
HT: I often see your name associated as ‘professional mime Doug Jones’. Does that bother you, and is that even accurate?
DJ: Well, it’s one of those labels that kind of stuck with me. I call myself an actor, and I’d like to be referred to as an actor. There is a mime ability that I could tap into, and I did do the white faced mime thing when I first started many years ago. When you keep doing these roles that keep getting where I’m covered up in some kind of a crazy costume and if it might be a physically movement oriented character it seems like the mainstream press doesn’t really know what to call me. Mimes are not always loved out there, people equate them to the guy that followed them around the park, but the art of mime has come in very handy. That’s what got me in touch with all of my limbs.
HT: Well, a lot of acting is about understanding your space.
DJ: It is, and I also learned that acting is a full body experience, therefore when you take on a character you’re taking on not only their dialogue you’re also taking on their facial expressions, their gestures, their postures, their body language, how they sit, stand, walk, and reach for things, all of it. So, whether I’m guest starring on some sitcom or a creature with a tail running after people shooting at me, either one is an acting job. It needs research, and character development, so it’s all the same to me really.
HT: Would you say your first break was the infamous ‘Mac the Knife’ commercial?
DJ: I would say that, yeah. That job turned into a 27 job campaign over the next 3 years so I met a lot of people involved in the creature effects world that would come in and out of that job. I met Steve Neal who created the moonhead, and others that went back to work at Rick Baker’s shop, or Stan Winston’s, or Greg Cannon’s, and often refer me to the next jobs they were working on, so that’s how my name kind of snowballed over the years, and I got known from all these shops that were creating monsters for movies and TV.
HT: We’re catching you at a point where filmmakers are interested in hiring you without the special make up. Is this the kind of success you dreamed of when you first got into the business?
DJ: Yeah. I have been getting a few scripts where people thought it would be cool to show me in a movie with my real face. But I always took it one day at a time. I never had a calculated path charted for myself at all. I thought because of the responses I got from high school stages to the comedy work I did that Doug Jones, the tall skinny goofy white guy, would be a funny next door neighbor, or a quirky office mate on a sitcom. While I’ve guest starred in quite a few sitcoms, the series regular never happened for me yet, but the movies really did take to me. I used to be so embarrassed that I was so tall, so skinny, sometime androgynous, or whatever. But it’s been a blessing and not a curse. I have to look at the cup being half full and not half empty. I’m having a really great year, especially with all the attention that “Pan’s Labyrinth” got. I’m really proud to be a part of it, and I hope it follows me until the day I die. And with “Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer” coming out, and we’re filming “Hellboy 2” now, things couldn’t get much better. It’s a life that I’ve dreamed of but I’ve always been grounded in reality, a very few actors who go into the profession make it to that percentage that can live well.
HT: But you have developed a niche that you can fall back on because you’re one of the best at what you do.
DJ: Yes but I’ve been working consistently for that last 20 years.
HT: The interesting thing is we were at a point where actors were complaining that the CG characters were taking jobs away from actors, but your success has brought the importance of the actor back to creatures and monsters.
DJ: Well, as an audience member myself I like to watch other people. I think people like to watch a personality, and feel a soul in the eyes they are looking at, and with a completely CG generated character you don’t always get that. The work that they are doing is getting more beautiful and getting better all the time but I still like to watch a person.
HT: You have been mentioned with the old masters like Lon Chaney and Bella Legosi, and those names haven’t been brought up in years.
DJ: Oh, decades! I’ve been getting those equations a lot recently. It’s very complementing.
DJ: I got the chance recently to re-incarnate one of the first horror film icons ever put on film. And that was ‘Cesare’ who did “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”. We did the remake of it which will be out on DVD on June 5. (USE IN INTRO?)
HT: Do you think there’s a certain quality or strength in your work that transcended beyond what people saw past all special make up? Does it come down to your exceptional acting ability and research?
DJ: I think it does come down to that because there are a lot of very strong people that can pull off a performance under lots of strengnuous make up that’s constantly heavy and rubs uncomfortably. And there are also stunt guys that could do incredible things but I think the acting element that I bring to the work is what helped me develop this niche. I think like an actor and an athlete at the same time. I have to keep going back to that statement of mine that acting and communicating is a full body experience, so even when I’m playing a human being I want to know him from head to toe. I want him to take over my body from head to toe when I’m playing it. And when I’m wearing a mask it has to be a part of you, I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing a mask. I may need a fan in between takes to cool down but when the camera rolls I want that character to look like he woke up that way.
HT: Critics have really taken an interest in your work, but Guillermo has to be credited for insisting on how important your contribution was to his characters.
DJ: Yes! He’s been a godsend and a real blessing for me. He’s someone who knows better that you don’t just get any guy to put on a creature suit. He’s been real kind when he’s been asked about me. He calls me ‘the Fred Astaire of monsters’, but he calls me a true actor first, who knows how to emote a character and personality through layers of latex. For him to say that is such a compliment.
HT: I think these last couple of years will be remembered as the turning point in your career.
DJ: It definitely feels like I’ve turned a corner where life is different for me, yeah. “Pan’s Labyrinth” is my third movie with Guillermo, I met him on “Mimic” in 1997, and that was just a cockroach guy for 3 days up in Toronto. We got along very well. We sat and talked one day over lunch and he had his chin in his hands asking me all kinds of questions about what make up artists I’d worked with, because he started as a make up guru in Mexico himself. He was fascinated to hear about Stan Winston, and Rick Baker, and he took my card. 5 years had gone by when he was doing “Hellboy”, and he came back looking for me. That was amazing! What happened was the people who were sculpting and designing ‘Abe Sapien’ at the time looked at it and said ‘that looks like Doug Jones,’ and Guillermo said ‘I know Doug Jones!’ And he pulled out my card from his wallet. So, I’m very thankful that he liked what I did for him the first time, because ‘Hellboy’ was what really cemented our relationship. I really look at “Hellboy” as my turning point because I was in that size of a role in that big of a movie with that kind of a director.
HT: Didn’t David Hyde Pierce refuse credit for voicing ‘Abe’ because he felt that you had done such a great job making the character come to life?
DJ: Yes. He was such a sweet man! He certainly refused his own credit in the film, he didn’t show up for the premiere, he didn’t do any press, and he had every right to and I never would’ve begrudged him that at all. The fact that he respected my performance so much and didn’t want to steal thunder from it was just a very generous gesture.
HT: He was sensitive enough to realize all the hours you endured putting on and taking off the make up everyday, and being submerged in that tank of water for weeks.
DJ: Yes, and when it came time to do the animated voice of “Hellboy”, David declined doing the voice of ‘Abe’, and they came looking for me to. “Hellboy” was a movie without a lot of headlining stars in it so there were many reasons to put David’s voice in it to have another name to promote the film, and I understand that the studio’s spending millions so there’s a lot at stake but that didn’t change the fact that I was disappointed.
HT: Laurence Fishburne was recently announced to voice the ‘Silver Surfer’, but you will you be doing ‘Abe’ in “Hellboy 2”?
DJ: I will be doing the voice in “Hellboy 2”. There’s a lot more in it for me and ‘Abe’ this time. I’m also going to be playing characters called the ‘Angel of Death’ and ‘The Chamberlin”. The ‘Angel of Death’ is going to be a great moment in the film.
HT: What’s the longest you’ve had endure in the make up chair?
DJ: 7 hours for “Hellboy”. There were twelve prosthetic pieces put all over my body from head to toe, and they had blended edges where color had to be sprayed on. They’re streamlining ‘Abe Sapien’ for the next movie to make him faster.
HT: How long to remove it?
DJ: 3 hrs. Because they’re removing glued on bits one inch at a time.
HT: How much longer were your days than the other actors?
DJ: I was doing 18-20 hour days easily.
HT: Actors complain about down time in the trailer on a 12 hour day. You must be exhausted during those productions.
DJ: It’s an exhausting business.
HT: I think you’re going to have to get into non make up roles because you can’t be doing 20 hour days for years and years.
DJ: I do want to do that too. After “Hellboy 2” is all done, I’m supposed to go into a film called “Knock Knock” where I get to play a regular guy who has a midlife crisis and sort of reinvents himself.
HT: I heard you went up to Mark Wahlberg at the Oscars this year and introduced yourself as a fellow cast mate in “Three Kings”?
DJ: (Laughs) Why did I even bring it up!? Bless his heart, he was nice enough to say, “Oh, that’s great! Who were you in “Three Kings?”
HT: And you went “I was ‘Dead Iraqi Soldier.”
DJ: Right! (Laughs) He was like ‘huh?’
HT: Why did they get you to be the ‘Dead Iraqi Soldier’.
DJ: The bottom line is it was cheaper than making a dummy.
HT: Should your career continue to advance, how important is it for you to try to capitalize financially? Or do you think the money will come as you keep choosing work that you can be proud of?
DJ: You’re hitting on it right there. I think if you stick to your heart and keep doing things that make you feel good at the end of the day, because I do trust my judgement, the money will come eventually.
HT: Who are some of the directors that you’d like to work with?
DJ: I would like to work with Robert Rodriguez, and I would love to do something really crazy with John Waters.
HT: Do you have a strict workout and diet regimen?
DJ: When I have a very physical job coming up I do have to spend time in the gym, but as for diet I’ve never been a junk eater. Getting stronger for a role I’ve had to work at. The further away you get from human the harder it’s going to be physically. I did find that out. A posture that goes away from human requires a lot of bending forward and squatting, so leg strengths, back strengths, and core muscle strengths in your abdomen and oblique really has to be there. And if you’re wearing a heavy piece on your head then your neck has to be in good shape too. I have special exercises for every area of my body that I’ve incorporated over the years.
HT: I have no doubts you’re going to continue to do great. However, with all the hype surrounding you now, would you be okay if this was as good as it got, or would you be a little disappointed? Because sometimes things don’t go the way a certain way even if everybody thought it would.
DJ: Well, as long as the phone keeps ringing and someone wants to hire me for anything I’ll take that as a huge compliment, and I will seriously consider any offer that I get.
HT: So, you don’t dare to dream too big?
DJ: No, especially after being an actor for 20 years, working consistently but being unnoticed. I know how fleeting and uncertain fame can be. I just want to keep acting and doing good work. Fame is a very fickle young lover. Fame will leave you for the next younger, better looking person. I would love fame to be on my arm as my date for a while, but I also know that 5 minutes from now people may not know my name again, and if that’s the case I need to be okay with my name. I need to be happy being Doug Jones and I have some value whether fame is there or not.
HT: In my experience, a lot of celebs get pissed when people come over, and they get pissed if nobody comes over.
DJ: I once did that to a celebrity that I saw on the Tonight Show the night before, and I wanted to kind of give him a pat on the back for being so funny and doing a good job, but I got a ‘thank you, have a nice day’ with a kind of a hand gesture saying get away. I never want to be that guy no matter what. I am very thankful to the fans and if they want to come up to me in public and sign a napkin for them then absolutely! That’s the least I could do for them for someone who spent $10 to buy a ticket for a movie I was in.
HT: Give a high moment and a low moment in your life?
DJ: Can I tell you two? One is when I married my wife Lori (on April 14, 1984). I’m 46. And another high point was my first time attending the Oscars this year. Representing “Pan’s Labyrinth” at the Oscars with Guillermo was an absolute major high for me. A low point would be the moment I found out that my father had passed away. It was a surprise because he was only 50 years old, I was a freshman in college, and it was a very untimely unwelcome death. But in life we don’t know we’re having a high point unless we’ve had a low point. You don’t know you’re on a peak unless you’ve in valleys. They all make us who we are and to take away the low points would deprive us of who we are today. It all comes into play in making you who you are today, and I don’t want to change that now, I like who I am today.