Doug Jones – Exclusive Interview – HELLBOY 2 – The Golden Army

     December 18, 2007

I’m a huge fan of Doug Jones. While a lot of you probably don’t know his name, you have definitely seen his exceptional work. Just in the last few years he’s played Abe Sapien in the “Hellboy” movies, the Silver Surfer in “Fantastic Four 2,” and both the Faun and the Pale man in Guillermo del Toro’s brilliant “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

While most people probably think it’s easy to get behind a mask and act in a movie…they’d be wrong. Many might overlook the hours each day you’d have to spend in a makeup chair, not acting…just sitting there, waiting. With some costumes it might take 5 hours to get the makeup on…and then another few to take it off. That’s not counting the 12-16 hours of shooting and having to keep it up for a few months. Trust me, it’s not an easy job. So when you see performances that shine through all the layers of makeup…you have to take a moment and appreciate the accomplishment.

Anyway, arriving next summer is Guillermo del Toro’s sequel to “Hellboy” and it’s called “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.” While most of the plot has been kept under wraps, the other day I was able to interview Doug at the Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival here in Los Angeles and he talked a little about his character and the voyage we’d see.

And if you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman…make sure you read the last part. Doug let some interesting info slip….

As always, if you’d like to listen to the audio rather than reading the transcript…just click here.

Collider: So last time I spoke to you, you were getting ready to leave for the trip. Now, you’ve filmed…

Doug Jones: The Saturn awards right? Is that right?

Collider: It was. So how was the experience?

Doug Jones: Oh my gosh. First of all, Budapest is a beautiful city in a beautiful country of Hungary and beautiful people. I really connected with the locals there very much. The filming experience was 6-1/2 months of the most brutal, relentless hammering I’ve ever been through on a movie. It was 18 hours days, 6 days a week… hammer, hammer, hammer. I’ve never been so tired in my life; however I’ve never been so satisfied with a film shoot. All the different layers I got to play in the Abe Sapien character alone were delicious to me as an actor and such an opportunity. Guillermo wrote me the most beautiful role ever with Abe Sapien this time. You’ll laugh with me, you’ll cry with me, you’ll be excited for me, scared for me, and you’ll get to watch Abe fall in love for the first time ever and that storyline came out so fricking beautifully. My love interest played by Anna Walton, a beautiful young British actress who plays my Elfin Princess love and it’s her twin brother played by Luke Goss who is the Elfin Prince and he ends up being our nemesis in the movie. He’s the one we’re kind of like trying to bring down. So it puts an interesting dynamic in the whole family of the Hellboy team and what happens when we have a bad guy who’s got a sister that I’m in love with. Right.

Collider: I’m just imagining that.

Doug Jones: So it’s all good. It’s really a great story. Guillermo hit this one out of the park when he wrote the script. He really did.

Collider: Before you left had you seen any of the dailies? Had you looked at footage?

Doug Jones: No, before I left oh, before I left to come back home you mean?

Collider: Yeah.

Doug Jones: I did see a few cut together scenes that were like a rough cut on Guillermo’s laptop. I’ve got to tell you it was goose bump city for me. I mean some scenes are so funny that I was heaving laughing. His humor is so brilliant and he wrote wonderfully for us and the other scenes that are so touching brings a tear to your eye. It’s a wide range of emotions this time. And I’m not just saying it’s the best thing I’ve ever done because it’s my next movie, it really is.

Collider: Do you think all the projects you had done prior to this film had almost led you to this performance? Do you think you were able to…

Doug Jones: Probably. I’m more mature as an actor now I think and I was able to take all this in and more comfortable in my role as Abe Sapien and also getting the voice back for Abe Sapien really meant the world to me. I went into it this time being very comfortable and very settled with who Abe was and I felt like Abe and I connected to the point where he could play himself through me and that’s really where I want to be as an actor on every character I play.

Collider: I saw a great photo of you and Neil Gaiman on a countryside and I saw you with the mask on and it looked like just this moment of you know–I can’t believe I’m doing this. Can you tell me about Neil being there and just like….

Doug Jones: Well Neil Gaiman was on-set to shadow Guillermo del Toro to get his skills and techniques of directing. Neil will be directing his first film soon, so he was there to learn from Guillermo and they’re also in cahoots as producer/director on other things so meeting Neil was such an honor for me and we actually became good friends and kept in touch and his daughter Maddie was on-set and she took over his blog for awhile and she wrote about me and I wrote about her. It was a big love fest.

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