Doug Jones on HELLBOY II

In a recent two-part interview with IFMagazine, Doug Jones goes in-depth about his role as Abe Sapien and the possibilities of Hellboy III.
iF MAGAZINE: What are some of the new and exciting things you got to do for HELLBOY 2?

DOUG JONES: When I first read the script I was very excited about this one and the film shoot not only lived up to my expectations but surpassed them. I have never been so exhausted and hammered by a film schedule in my life, but I have also never been so satisfied by my involvement in a movie. [Director] Guillermo [Del Toro] wrote such a beautiful role for Abe this time, in addition to my two other roles in this film. I also play the Angel of Death and the Chamberlain, which is a smaller role, but both of those roles turned out to be yummy delicious moments of fun. The Angel of Death especially, I got goosebumps reading the script and people would come up and tell me that I gave them goosebumps on set, so it worked!

iF: What was new specifically for Abe?

JONES: Oh Abe! You are going to get to know him on so many different levels this time. In the first movie he was lovely, but he was kind one-dimensional and was a helper and part of the team, but he helped push everyone else’s storyline forward. He’s got a storyline of his own this time, which is so full. I think as an audience you find yourself laughing and crying and shrieking and phewing as you watch Abe this time. This time he’s much more buddy buddy with the BPRD team, especially with Hellboy and the brother relationship is much more cemented. It’s funny too, Guillermo wrote such a funny script with some great beautiful moments. The action is superb and the humor is superb.

iF: In the first HELLBOY, Abe didn’t get a whole lot of action time. He fought in one bigger battle then got clawed and had to spend most of the rest of the movie getting better. So what are we going to see this time?

JONES: You’re going to see him with a gun in his hand firing at things. No sword, but you’ll also see him with no weapon in his hands doing a certain fighting style that Guillermo called ‘the way of the water’ and would be most reminiscent of Capeoira, that Brazilian dancing fighting style that everyone seems at least somewhat familiar with. They found an internationally ranked Capeoira fighter and instructor to double me for those scenes. I’m not one of those actors that insists that I do all of my own stunts, because I don’t want you to have an illusion that’s not true. This fellow did things I would never be able to do. There’s a scene where Abe comes up against a creature played by my friend Brian Steele, who plays several creatures I this film, which the scene starts out funny and ends up being cool how Abe out foxes him.

iF: What else can audiences expect in this new flick?

JONES: Well, I can’t tell you too many spoilers, but I can tell you more about my role in everything. Abe gets to do more action which is a first, but he also has a love interest. Reading it was very charming, but playing it out on film was another thing entirely. The woman they cast to play Princess Nuala, Anna Walton, is tall, has long limbs, and is gorgeous in her own special way. She has a regal quality about her, because when she is peaking you are sure she is really a princess. I’ve been on film with several people before and she was one of those rare actors that when action was called the crew and camera melt away and you are actually living the moment with her; she is so absorbing in that way. I think so of my best moments caught on film are those with Anna and my acting in those scenes.

iF: Does Mike Mignola visit the set when you are filming?

JONES: Oh yeah, he’s very involved. He’s not just a consultant on paper, he showed up on set a few times for extended periods of time. All plot points, stories and twists are discussed with him and he has ideas and Guillermo really listens to him. Guillermo is such a comic book fan himself that he doesn’t want to stray too far from the source material and Mignola is the source.

[For the rest of this PART 1 of the interview go HERE]:

iF MAGAZINE: What kind of interaction do the actors have with HELLBOY creator Mike Mignola when he is on set?

DOUG JONES: I love him, we get along really well. He’s not well and I mean that in a good way. He’s not physically ill, but he’s not quite right in the head and that’s what I love about him so I hope he never changes. He’s got the most twisted sense of humor and he makes me laugh and laugh. Four people can be looking at the same dot on the wall, and Mike Mignola will find it so twisted and funny that you want to listen to his description of that dot. He’s wonderful and he doesn’t try to overstep Guillermo [Del Toro]. He knows where the line of what the director’s job is. As actors we need to talk to our director, because that’s where we get a lot of our inspiration from. Mike Mignola is there an he does inspire us and his presence is very welcome and very comforting.

iF: Following on the heels of being dubbed for the first HELLBOY, now you’ve not only done your own voice for Abe for this new movie, but also for other projects?

JONES: I did my own voice for the HELLBOY video game which is coming out soon and of course for the animated features SWORD OF STORMS and BLOOD AND IRON, which have already come out. I really enjoyed doing those, because it’s such a different animal to voice animation. It’s different than on camera acting, but you still need to find the character and make him real using just your voice.

iF: How is your working relationship with Ron Perlman and Selma Blair, now that you all have worked together on so many different HELLBOY projects?

JONES: In the first film I wasn’t really on camera with either of them very much, especially Selma. Now this time around we were almost constantly on camera together through much of the shooting, and that was wonderful. We also spent more time off camera together all of us, on the weekends, and Jeffrey Tambor too. I just adore all of them. My friend Brian Steel came back as well. I think this is my seventh movie with him, and we’ve been credited alongside each other for so many films now. So it really was a family project and a family reunion. Ron Perlman really is like a big brother to me. It’s funny because RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER came out in theatres and on DVD while we were filming and Ron never let me forget that I was the Silver Surfer now, and that was a razzing point for him during shooting. I told him that was all fine and good and I loved being the Silver Surfer, but in all sincerity, my honor at that moment was to be his trusty sidekick. It was my pleasure to be his little brother on film. He took the big brother role off camera and on camera very seriously and he is very protective of the people he loves. He’ll bark for you if you’re not barking for yourself. I really appreciate Ron. Selma and I really bonded too, into that sort of family role; she’s like a little sister. She’s out of her mind and I hope she never changes. She’s got this deadpan delivery, she can say the funniest things and never change her cigarette in hand and her straight on stare at you.

iF: How did the makeup evolve on this from the first film?

JONES: The makeup evolved because in the first movie, you only saw Abe primarily in a pair of shorts and that was a full-body makeup that took seven hours to complete that had to evolve because of this new schedule. To give you an idea of how much my involvement changed, in the first film Abe Sapien was on the call sheet seventeen days of the film which is not that much. On this movie I was on the call sheet one hundred and eight days. So the seven hour makeup had to get easier. On the long days, when I was wearing nothing but shorts it was down to five hours, so they cut two hours off. The merciful thing about this movie is that Abe is in a new costume with long sleeve, pants, gloves, and boots; so the makeup is pretty much from the neck up. So, when I was wearing the full outfit this time it was about a three hour makeup. They cut down the number of pieces and it became more of a form fitted suit that they could glue down the edges of as opposed to twelve separate pieces that had to be individually glued on and blended to my skin. We cut down on a lot of airbrushing time and gluing time form the neck down.

iF: Did anyone discuss the possibility of a third movie?

JONES: The third movie was talked about the entire time. In fact, Guillermo has been talking about HELLBOY 1, 2, and 3 since we were filming HELLBOY 1. He said he had three HELLBOY movies in him then. Now, as the footage was being edited and put together and the studio was getting more and more excited about what they were seeing, now we’re all excited for HELLBOY 4, 5, and 6 even! If it can keep going why not? I can’t speak for everyone, but I did here lots of speculation about how long this can go. It’s very exciting. So we don’t want to put limits on it if we can help it.

[For the rest of this PART 2 interview on go HERE]
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