It’s easy to forget that the zombies and wolfmen and levitating fiends and eccentric immigrants traipsing though movies and Tv supports are brought to life by humans who accept hours in the makeup chair every day. And then you encounter Doug Jones, the personification of creature-feature praise. He’s not a household name, but likelihoods are you’ve marveled at many of his otherworldly characters.
Jones is to monsters what “Lord of the Rings” and “Planet of the Apes” savant Andy Serkis is to motion-capture innovations. Since 1985, Jones has made a honour for himself as Hollywood’s undead sensation. Towering over any area at a lanky 6-foot-3, Jones has disappeared behind the Thin Clown in “Batman Returns, ” Billy Butcherson in “Hocus Pocus, ” the heads of state of the bloodsucking Gentlemen on “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, ” Pencilhead in “Mystery Men, ” aliens in “Men in Black II” and “Falling Skies, ” the Ice Cream Man in “Legion, ” and Mt. Saru in the brand-new streak “Star Trek: Discovery.”
He’s too the go-to colossus in the movies of demon king Guillermo del Toro, first be contained in “Mimic” and later representing both the faun and the Pale Man in “Pan’s Labyrinth, ” Abe Sapien in “Hellboy” and souls in “Crimson Peak.” In del Toro’s latest seek, “The Shape of Water, ” Jones pays his leading-lad bona fide, representing a “Creature from the Black Lagoon”-esque amphibian captured by the government for poking and political maneuvering. Along the space, the fish-man comes in love.
Jones, 57, didn’t intend to be a lifelong shape-shifter. He wanted to idol in sitcoms, having grown up with “The Andy Griffith Show, ” “I Love Lucy, ” “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Carol Burnett Show.” But, as a contortionist who learned mime at Indiana’s Ball State University, his fate quickly came a-calling.
With “The Shape of Water” now open in limited release, I sat down with Jones in New York to discuss his heavily costumed career. After 32 times in the business, he has a museum’s usefulnes of offbeat Hollywood know-hows. Here got a few firsts in the living standards of Doug Jones, the most agreeable being you’ll ever meet.