Photo by: Sam Hanson
By: Anna Hanson
Doug Jones has many faces….and bodies and limbs and species and powers. He’s done it all,
from commercials to web-series to indie films and blockbusters. Everyone’s seen Interview with a
Vampire and if you found yourself thinking that those were some mighty fine hands that strangled
Christian Slater, that’s because they belong to Doug Jones. He played the hand double for Tom Cruise
and when asked why the hands are the sexiest part of that movie, Doug responded that the two key
words for sexy are “skinny” and “emaciated” for which his are perfectly suited to stand in for those of a
starved and withering vampire. Some of his more recognizable characters include Pan from Pan’s
Labyrinth, the Silver Surfer from The Fantastic Four, and Abe Sapien from Hellboy. Out of curiosity I
asked if all of his characters were to compete in a Wrestlemania style Battle Royale, who would be the
victor? Doug talked through his options …
”Pan doesn’t have a lot of super powers; he’d just try to trick everyone. He’d lose. Billy from
Hocus Pocus, his head would fall off. Yeah, he’d lose. Abe Sapien, he’s athletic and he’s got the
mind reading thing but still if he went up against the Silver Surfer…Surfer wins! Silver Surfer
wins! He’s got the power and that’s that.”
Doug’s road leading to his role(s) in Hollywood was every bit as unpredictable as he is. He’s a seasoned
contortionist and mime. As Jones is the youngest of four boys I wondered how much of his ability to
crawl into boxes could be attributed to pure instinct. He recalled growing up was a matter of the
survival of the fittest. Since he was not the fittest, the only way he could survive was to crawl into small
spaces and just wait out the storm. He also recalled hiding in closets and behind things when he simply
didn’t want to be bothered. Doug performed in a mime troupe in college and stated if he could name
his own mime troupe he would call it “A Meeting of the Mimes.” After moving to Hollywood he worked
at a bank for a period of time. I feel his work history with banks (as he worked at one while attending
college as well) qualifies him as an expert on the subject so I asked for some tips, should I ever find
myself working as a teller or what have you.
His tips are as follows:
1) “Pay close attention to customers IDs. I apparently let somebody walk away with a cashed
check and they didn’t even have a California driver’s license.
2) It’s okay to have a summer job as a teller when you’re in college, like I did, but probably not
okay to go into a management training program when you really want to be an actor.
3) When you’re a bank teller and a customer steps up to your window, don’t put your “Next
Window” sign up and say “I’m sorry, I’m on my lunch break.” I did that once and got in trouble
from my manager.
So there you go. Three tips.”
Variety being the spice of life seems to be not just a phrase but a proven fact when taking a snapshot of
Doug’s daily activities log. He’s so much more than an actor. He’s a husband, a self-taught barber, a
roller blading enthusiast, and an aspiring novelist just to name a few. Not to mention he’s incredibly
accessible and an excellent conversationalist. During this interview I asked some random and baseless
questions and he obliged in answering all of them like a champ. He’s a master.
As Americans, it’s our duty to patron our state and local fairs and obviously indulge in the various forms
of edible heaven that are made available to us. This being an example of the random questions I
mentioned, I asked Doug what his favorite food item at any given fair is. And like I said, he put as much
thought into this question as any other.
“I will tell you this. And I did not discover this as a child, I discovered this at the age of 51. I was
a guest at a festival in Illinois walking around during the day and I smelled something fabulous.
It was the Elephant Ear. It’s a sweet, yummy, greasy mess and I absolutely love them.”
Writing a novel is no small feat and Doug had resolved to start the endeavor this past year. His goal was
to write something, anything, just to get the ball rolling and put pen to paper and he accomplished this
well within his one year self-imposed deadline.
“It’s a fictional novel with the lead character based upon myself. So he’s a creature actor from
Hollywood and gets frustrated and fed up with not being recognized in public and watching
other actors be on covers of magazines and become movie stars. That’s the kind of the start of
The novel is tentatively titled They’d Love Me in Kansas (I’m Huge There).
Jones is absurdly busy and keeps an insane schedule but if he had more time to spend doing anything
with anyone it would be hanging out with his wife, Laurie…
“Our favorite getaway is to pick up and disappear to a little town in central California called
Cambria. It’s a seaside town with a lot of art galleries and cutsey things and it’s a very touristy
town but it’s also got a gorgeous seaside beach terrain. It’s something I would love to have
more time for since we get there maybe once a year.”
So there you go. A well rounded and full life led by someone who doesn’t let any of it go to waste. All of
the creatures he’s played in his 30 years in the business are just tiny pieces of a pretty awesome human.
Doug’s twitter handle is @actordougjones. Follow him. He also manages the twitter account of his
widely popular stuffed puppy, Zekey and you can follow him at @ZekeyDog.