While Doug Jones has been winning raves for playing the titular faun in PAN’S LABYRINTH, his third collaboration with Guillermo del Toro, the longtime genre performer has also been devoting his time to smaller-scale fare. The actor who portrayed Abe Sapien in HELLBOY and essays the Silver Surfer in next year’s FANTASTIC 4 sequel recently took a role in the upcoming circus-of-horrors feature CARNIES, and director Brian Corder has nothing but praise for him. “Working with Doug Jones was a fantastic and rewarding experience,” Corder tells Fango. “He is so easygoing and professional, and definitely brought life to the set and to his character Ratty. There’s a little bit of Doug in the role; he’s a very kind and loyal friend, but also a bit quirky—the kind of person you immediately like and trust.”
Ratty is an atypical gig for Jones, who has many years of experience performing under heavy prosthetics in movies also including DOOM, THE TIME MACHINE and MIMIC, and as one of the Gentlemen in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER’s “Hush.” “Casting him in a non-makeup role was a no-brainer,” Corder says, “because Doug is a fine actor. Anyone who can project emotion so well while being covered from head to toe in latex must be talented, right? Just imagine what he can do without all the makeup.”
CARNIES is just one of the independent features Jones has taken part in recently; he also has roles in THE WAGER and the new remake of THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, and Corder says he’s as devoted to his indie projects as he is to his big-budget assignments. “I remember one evening, it was about 4 a.m. and I found out that Doug had to be at his first real screen test for FANTASTIC 4 at 9 a.m. in Los Angeles,” Corder says. “I found Doug curled up in a chair and apologized for the delays, and all he said was, ‘Don’t worry about it, Brian—it’s a labor of love.” You can see our last item on CARNIES, which also features Reggie (PHANTASM films) Bannister, here and the movie’s official site here, and look for a feature interview with Jones about LABYRINTH in Fango #260, on sale in January.