The youngest of four brothers, Doug Jones was born on the 24th May, 1960, in Indianapolis, Indiana, and grew up in the city's Northeastside. After attending Bishop Chatard High School, he headed off to Ball State University, where he graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor's degree in Telecommunications, with a minor in Theatre.
He learned mime at school, joining a troupe and doing the whole white-face thing, and has also worked as a contortionist.
After a hitch in theater in Indiana, he moved to Los Angeles in 1985, and has not been out of work since - he's acted in over 25 films, many television series (Including the award-winning "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997), his episode 'Hush' garnered two Emmy nominations) and over 90 commercials and music videos with the likes of Madonna and Marilyn Manson.
Although known mostly for his work under prosthetics, he has also performed as 'himself' in such highly-rated films as Adaptation. (2002) with Nicolas Cage and indie projects such as Phil Donlon's A Series of Small Things (2005).
But it is his sensitive and elegant performance as 'Abe Sapien' in Hellboy (2004), which stormed to the top of the U.S. box office in the spring of 2004, that has brought him an even higher profile and much praise from audiences and critics alike.
Doug is married and lives in California.
Frequently appears in films under heavy makeup
Often works with 'Guillermo Del Toro'
Distinctive body language and hand gestures.
Although his voice as 'Abe Sapien' in Hellboy (2004) was dubbed by David Hyde Pierce, David refused a credit because he felt that Abe was entirely Doug's creation and did not wish to detract from his performance.
His performance as 'Billy Butcherson' in Hocus Pocus (1993) earned him a pre-nomination for a comedy award.
His makeup in Hellboy (2004) usually took six hours.
Has double-jointed legs.
Learned mime at his University.
Was inspired to create Abe Sapien's graceful and liquid movements in Hellboy (2004) after watching the pet fish in his office.
The choker he often wears for promo appearances is one of Abe Sapien's eyes from Hellboy (2004).
Frequently has a role in the films of Guillermo del Toro.
Not only did Doug portray all four Imps in the film Doom (2005), but he was also asked by director Andrzej Bartkowiak during filming to choreograph the movements of the Czech dancers who were hired to play Zombies.
He was the mascot for his college alma mater - Ball State University, where he performed as "Charlie the Cardinal" at many of the sporting and public events.
Do not be afraid, ever, of approaching the talent you want in your film. Because actors at any level want to be in front of the camera, that's what we're built to do. Actors want to act. So, if we're free, we have the time, and you have a project that is a role that we haven't played before, or it's written in a witty way, or tells a story that we want to be a part of, we'll do it! And the best thing is to have your pitch. If you have no money but you've got a lot of heart, pitch the hell out of it! And, if you have a good story in your head, don't let it get over-processed by too many decision makers. Now, of course, that's what the studio system is all about [laughs], but do your darndest to stay true to your vision. (Advice for budding Indie film makers)
For the last 20 years of my life, I've been wearing something unrecognizable. I've been acting for 20 years now and I've been under the radar. I was completely under the radar until Hellboy came along. And I did notable roles before, Billy Butcherson in Hocus Pocus which became like a Halloween classic over here on the Disney Channel, and I had smaller parts in lots of films like Batman Returns, Mystery Men, Adaptation, Three Kings, and they were even things with my own face in them. But I was basically actor of the day and I didn't get much recognition, and guest-starring on TV shows that come and go and commercials that come and go. But Hellboy was the one that had real staying power, in terms of its notoriety and the size of the role I had. I guess I became a speck on the radar then, but now it's Pan's Labyrinth and Silver Surfer. Finishing Fantastic Four and Pan's Labyrinth coming out with these Golden Globes and Oscar nominations has been a press frenzy for me. I've never been thrust in the public eye this much with me, Doug Jones, as name recognition which is happening now, which is new for me. It's very exciting but still it's nice to go to 7-11 and still be me. Nobody has to know, right?
(2011, on Adaptation) Augustus Margary was an orchid hunter from real life. He's historically look up-able, and he is referred to in the book that the movie was being adapted from. That was a brilliant film by the way, one of the best pieces of writing I've ever seen. There's a scene where some of the book is being read aloud by Meryl Steep's voice while Nicolas Cage is reading it, thinking, "How am I going to make a movie out of this crap?" So she's recounting all of the people who have died out there in the field on their orchid hunts. And they show a long clip of Augustus Margary, in the rainforest of somewhere, getting beaten to death by poachers who have stolen his orchids and now have run off leaving him for dead. So that was a one-day shoot for me that was all about me. Spike Jonze directed, and we had two stunt guys clubbing me to death over and over again with fake rain falling on me, which was colder than ice. I'm a skinny guy, so I started shivering. But it was good, because I was sick. All I had [in terms of makeup] was a wig and a beard that made me kind of like I had been out in the wild for a long time without a razor...I got offered that weeks before it opened in theaters, just weeks, because that was re-shoots. That's why I had Spike Jonze all to myself. Because they were already done with the shoot, and they just needed some visual bits to fill in that moment we were talking about where she's recounting who was killed in the orchid hunts. That was one bit they hadn't gotten yet, so they came back and made a day of it with a skeleton crew, just a few people, the cinematographer and a couple of grips, and that was it. So I hadn't read the whole script. I was just told by the guy who glued my beard on. That was Tony Gardner, another makeup artist who is brilliant. He did my makeup for Hocus Pocus and made me the Billy Butcherson zombie in that. He just referred me to Spike Jonze. He had a relationship with him and said, "Yeah, you got to get Doug in on that. He's skinny, he looks like he already has dysentery and been out in the wild by himself for a long time, so it won't take much makeup." I never did read the script, I just trusted the people involved and thought, "This sounds good to me." Then I saw the movie at the screening and was like, "Yes! It's so different."
(2011, on Mimic) That was my first experience with Guillermo del Toro. Because the specialty of wearing monster suits and creature makeups, the creature effects makeup designers, they're the ones that design these looks and then say, "Oh you know who would be perfect to play that would be a guy named Doug Jones." So that's kind of how the referral process has made my career happen. That's how I got into Mimic, then. I got a phone call one day from a guy who said, "We're doing a night shoot tonight. Can you come down? We're doing some re-shoots for this movie called Mimic." Which at the time meant nothing to me, but sure, I needed the work. And that was being directed by Guillermo del Toro, his first American studio film. It turns out though that we hit it off because he loves monsters, and he is like an 8-year-old fanboy inside his own roly-poly jolly self. He's this brilliant visionary storyteller genius, who really understands being a geek and a fan and loving gooey things. So he makes movies with his brilliance that will appeal to his 8-year-old boy that's inside. That's why he's such a popular, beloved director. And we got all that in the discussion where he was asking me, [Imitates del Toro.] "What monsters have you played?" And I was telling him, "Oh, I've been this and that, in this movie and that movie." "Oh really? Who did the makeup on that?" And he knows all the makeup artists and had followed their careers. He said, "I started up as a makeup artist in Mexico, and I've done my own films down there." He's selling himself to me. I'm like, "Gosh, this guy is so humble and real and genuine. I love him." And then he asks for my card, and I gave him my card, and then five years later, this was '97, five years later in 2002, I get a call about this little movie called Hellboy. They've just done a sculpture of Abe Sapien, and Guillermo del Toro had come in as the director, looked at the sculpture and was like, "Oh my gosh, that's beautiful." And the creature effects guys said, "You know, Doug Jones would be perfect to play this." And he's like, "Doug Jones! I know Doug Jones!" And he pulled out his card from his wallet that I had given to him five years prior, so that's a good little reminder for all of us to carry cards with us, I guess.
(2011, on Legion) The director, Scott Stewart, came looking for me to do this cameo as "the ice cream man" in Legion. And even if you didn't see the movie, you saw me all over the advertising for it, I stepped out of an ice cream truck and my jaw dropped down to my chin, and my arms grew, and legs grew. But the scene starts with me looking like Doug Jones. And Scott Stewart, the director, said he wanted to give my fan base a little treat of them seeing me in a big effects-driven movie without makeup on for my introduction. Directors like that have been doing it more and more over the last couple of years.
(2011, on Cyrus: Mind Of A Serial Killer) I think it went straight to DVD with a healthy following so far. I didn't know as much about the film as I should, because I was a cameo in the film. They shot me all in one day, and then used my bits sprinkled throughout. I'm one of two psychologists, or psychiatrists, that are interviewed. So here's this gruesome story that's going along about a guy who chops up people and then serves them in his diner to other people without them knowing about it. There's a back-story to it: His wife did him wrong, so he's gone nuts now, and there's a girl who looks like his wife that he's kidnapped. It's a terrifying story, and every so often they go off to an interview clip with a psychiatrist talking about [Serious voice.] the mind of a serial killer, and what makes him do what he does. So I was one of those psychiatrists, which was kind of a fun cameo for me to do outside of rubber makeup that I'm known for, the prosthetic-makeup roles. So to do that with my own face and a jacket and acting like I was smart was great fun for me.
(2011, on The Newlydeads) That was a straight-to-VHS feature film that was made for about $1.75. It was a story of a newlywed honeymoon resort that was haunted by a transvestite zombie that was killing people. I was one of the first young husbands to bite the bullet. I got killed gruesomely with a curtain rod through the back of my head. Very proud of myself. My mom loves that movie-I'm kidding.
(2004) Lives in California with his wife.
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