Doug Jones is the busiest film star that most people would never recognize

by Rick Bentley

McClatchy Newspapers

11 November 2008


Doug Jones has an impressive acting resume. He has had memorable roles on “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,” “Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Hellboy.”

He played three roles in this summer’s comic book-inspired action film “Hellboy II: The Golden Army.” You can see that work Tuesday when the film is released on DVD.

And yet, Jones can walk down most streets and never get recognized. That’s because the 48-year-old Indianapolis native tends to get cast in roles that put him under tons of makeup and costuming. He’s a thin 6-feet-4-inches tall, which allows for lots of character possibilities with the help of makeup and costumes. Toss on some extra padding and he can be bulkier and menacing. Use his lanky frame as is and he can play a thin, slippery character.

In “Hellboy II,” Jones reprises his role as the gilled hero Abe Sapien. He also appears in the film, under loads of makeup, as The Chamberlain and The Angel of Death.

As far as Jones is concerned, he would play as many roles as “Hellboy II” director Guillermo del Toro wanted him to play.

“He tells me what he wants me to play and I say OK. When you have a genius like him, who has very calculated decision about who he wants to play what he wants, you don’t question it,” Jones says during an interview for the theatrical release of “Hellboy II.”

Being one of the actors the director turns to has come at a price. All of the costumes and makeup have been uncomfortable to wear. And each has taken a minimum of five hours to apply.

The toughest role in “Hellboy II” was as The Angel of Death. The challenge was dealing with the 40-pounds of mechanics he had to wear on his back to make the Angel’s wings move.

Jones tried to put up with the pain but eventually had to ask for a cable to be attached to hold up the machinery and take the load off his body. That cable was painted out during the final edits of the movie.

Such is the life Jones has accepted by being Hollywood’s most active man behind the mask.

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