Monday, September 1, 2008

The time I met a real Gentleman

Again, from MySpace, December 2007...

The man beside is more than just a tall and lanky guy.
He can be a Gentleman who can silence a while town....or a fawn guiding a young girl in Spain on a mystical journey...or a Silver Surfer...or a being who's a friend of a Hellboy...or even a piano-playing Moon Guy who convinced more people to go to McDonald's at night.
He is Doug Jones, and he was at an anime show in Sacramento's Scottish Rite Center recently, talking to fans and signing autographs. While I and other Whedonistas know him from "Hush", he was there to plug his return as Abe Sapien in Hellboy 2. In a Q and A session that lasted more than 30 minutes, he said he preferred Sci-Fi because of the fans it attracts. He has done work as a regular guy, such as part of the paparazzi in The Wager with Randy Travis. Still, he's very excited about Hellboy 2 because he's not only Abe (and he can use his own voice rather than being dubbed) but two other roles.
Even if he has to wear very complicated costumes, he says that the real key for bringing a character to life is capturing the heart and soul, whether it's a fawn or a Silver Surfer. He also advises budding actors to work close with the director to get a clear idea of the character, and be fearless about it. That may even include being off the set, since he revealed that sometimes he had to go home in full costume. That was the case with Pan's Labyrinth, but that's the movie he'd like to be remembered for.
One issue he talked about is how we see him at work, but he doesn't speak for himself. In Pan's Labyrinth, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and Hellboy, he's been dubbed by other actors. In the case of Pan, he understood the decision because he was told a Spanish speaker could express a certain nuance to the lines. With Hellboy, David Hyde-Pierce had so much respect for Doug's work that he wouldn't publicize his role in the film. He also didn't want to be Abe's voice again. This is why Doug is Abe's voice in the Hellboy animated movies and now in Hellboy 2.
He also said his ideal role would be as an angel, which has been fulfilled in Hellboy 2 because he'll the Angel of Death. He also said if he was asked, he'd be in the Pee Wee Playhouse movie planned for 2009.
I asked him if being the Silver Surfer meant being on the set, or is he a CGI model? Well, he says he was silver through the enture shoot. As he put it, "they made me a beautiful man". While there were some green-screen scenes, that the deal Doug as the Silver Surfer. If there's a need for more Silver Surfer movies, he hopes to be there with his own voice.
Doug actually began as a mime, but was inspired by Dick Van Dyke, Carol Burnett and Don Knotts. He thinks that he could be a leading man, since he'll soon be in a movie where he's a tall guy in his 40's who's in a mid-life crisis and meets some Goth kids that he doesn't recognize as Goth kids.
Naturally, I also asked him abuot "Hush", and he thought it was a blast. He praised Joss as one of the best and more creative people he's ever worked with, mainly because he's the first guy in YEARS to prove that you don't always need words to entertain an audience. I pointed out that comedian Ernie Kovacs did the same thing in black and white in the 1960's, and Doug agreed with me. Wow!
I also asked him about how Pan's Labyrinth got three Oscars, but should have gotten a fourth for Best Foreign Language film. Doug suspected the movie may have been too violent for some Oscar voters, which is why they voted for The Lives of Others, about East Germany in the 1980's. Actually, both movies deserved to win in that category, but I would have preferred Pan's Labyrinth to get the award.

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