In this last part of the interview, Doug Jones delves further into the complex characters he plays. These are not one dimensional characters, but they are deep and meant to invoke emotions in the viewer whether that is fear, awe, or something more.
Read part II here
AF: You seem to be drawn to films that are surreal oddities that blend beautiful visual tapestries of life like Pan’s Labyrinth and your latest film Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life. What is it about these types of films that grab your attention?
Doug Jones: As a biography movie goes, it is unique and delicious. It’s colorful, it’s opulent, it’s one of the more beautiful films I’ve been in and the French know how to do film right. I am a fantasy element in a real life telling of someone’s biography. Here I am as this fantasy alter ego character that I inspired Gainsbourg’s music and his art but I also corrupted his morals.
I was a really colorful sidekick character that he could see and talk to. It was really a great twist on a biography movie. Oh yeah we even flew through the sky at one point on wires it was fantastic. I had the best time on that.
But what draws me to movies like that is that it is a throwback to the old school black and white era where Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff were playing monster characters that were leading men. Guillermo Del Toro is a director and now with Joann Sfar who directed Gainsbourg these visionary directors that love monsters and that want to include them in their stories as leading characters with personality, with great dialogue with great interaction with beautiful looks and even if they are creepy they’re still beautiful in some way and unique and they work into the story that they are not just the things that jumps out at you scares you in the hallway, they are an actual character that has living, breathing life quality, and human characteristics that the audience can connect with.
So in Pan’s Labyrinth for instance, the Faun character I just thought he was just gorgeous and beautiful and what I loved was, is this character going to help me or hurt me and you don’t know until the end of the movie. I love playing characters like that, that have that ambiguity to them, and the Faun character was very much that with little Ophelia, trying to make her way through her decision making and her three tasks that were put in front of her to reclaim her rightful place as the princess, that is exactly what it is for in Pan’s Labyrinth. Here I was and the audience didn’t know if I was good or evil until the bitter end. He was nurturing but also kind of threating in a way.
The other character I played in Pan’s Labyrinth the Pale Man and there was one terrifying scene that has gone down in history as an iconic moment in horror films. That character, the Pale Man made it on the cover of not one, but three magazines that year. I did not see that coming so wow. They are going to bury me in that palm up position in my coffin when I’m dead one day.
In Gainsbourg the same thing, this alter-ego character he seems helpful and nurturing but he is also selfish and self-absorbed and not looking out for Gainsbourg best interest always. I love that ambiguity and that leading man quality that these writers and these directors have afforded me with these characters.
AF: These characters seem to be tailor made for you.
Doug Jones: Now that I have such a relationship with Guillermo Del Toro, we’ve done four films together, I am pretty confident that when he has a movie in the works that he will do his best to find something for me or create something for me if he can if it is in the story.
AF: You guys definitely work very well together and your characters are awesome.
Doug Jones: On a side bar with the Pan’s Labyrinth thing even if I wasn’t in it I would say you must see it, let me give you a thumb’s up on watching Pan’s Labyrinth. It does have an element of gore and disturbing imagery but it is done in such an artistic way and it is part of the story to get you riled up to hate the bad guy so much that by the end of the film that when he gets his comeuppance you will feel so darn good about it.
And being a woman you will really connect with this little Ophelia character especially. The fan mail that I get on Pan’s Labyrinth is still coming to this day mostly from women and young girls who are in their teens who kind of connect with finding their own voice and making their own choices in this world and living with their repercussions of those choices. It’s really fantastic and really the perfect movie to me.
There you have it. The words from the Doug Jones, who I have to say was nice and extremely grateful to discuss his work as well give massive love to his fans. Don’t forget to follow on Twitter, Facebook as well as check out his website which a one-stop place of all things Doug Jones.
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