Doug Jones on ‘The Shape of Water’, His Process with Guillermo del Toro, and More

     December 5, 2017

With director Guillermo del Toro’s fairy tale The Shape of Water opening in select theaters this weekend, I recently sat down with actor Doug Jones for an exclusive video interview, who’s a regular collaborator of del Toro’s and who plays the Fish Man in Shape of Water. He talked about his collaboration process with del Toro, how he typically prepares for a character, how Guillermo had to keep reminding him to make Fish Man an “animalistic” performance, when he knew Shape of Water would be such a special film, the amazing production design, how easy is it for him to break character when he’s done shooting for the day, and so much more. Plus, at the end of the interview, we talked about the first season of Star Trek: Discovery.


Image via Fox Searchlight

If you haven’t seen any of The Shape of Water trailers, the film was written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor and takes place in 1962 America against the backdrop of the Cold War. The fantastic film stars Sally Hawkins as Elisa, a lonely and mute cleaning woman who works in a high-security government laboratory, where a new specimen has just arrived: a mysterious Fish Man, played by Doug Jones in full makeup. Matters are complicated when Elisa strikes up a friendly relationship with the Fish Man, only to see Michael Shannon’s terrifying security expert treat the creature like a wild animal, abuse and all. The movie also stars Octavia SpencerRichard Jenkins, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

I’ve seen a lot of movies this year and The Shape of Water is one of the best. Strongly recommended. For more on the film you can read Brian Formo’s review.

Check out what Doug Jones had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.


Image via Fox Searchlight

Doug Jones:

  • Reflects on being Thin Clown in Batman Returns.
  • Talks about how Jones predicted Shape of Water would be in the awards race on Collider Video a long time ago.
  • How does he typically prepare for a character?
  • What’s his collaboration process with Guillermo?
  • Tells a story about how Guillermo told him he needed “a George Romero zombie” as a note for his Pale Man performance in Pan’s Labyrinth.
  • Talks about how Guillermo had to keep reminding him to make Fish Man an “animalistic” performance.
  • When did he know Shape of Water would be special?
  • Talks about the attention to detail in the production design.
  • How easy is it for him to break character when he’s done shooting for the day?
  • His eating and exercise routine during filming.
  • How does he feel about the first season of Star Trek: Discovery?

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