Doug Jones: Man of Mythology

Still shot from Pan's Labyrinth (2006), directed by Guillermo del Toro.
Still shot from Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), directed by Guillermo del Toro.

Doug Jones is one of the top creature actors in the motion picture industry, and he is also my youngest brother.  I am proud of him, and I have no qualms about continuing the nepotism I began in last week’s post where I wrote about the work of my son-in-law. Doug began perfecting his technique long before he knew what his profession would be. As a boy, he was a spot-on mimic of me, my other brothers, and our father. When he entered his teens, his caricatures became even more accurate, their aim deadlier.

As stated on my Author page, I am a small college professor of biology. In the faculty break room a number of years ago, one of my colleagues mentioned that he had seen Doug in Pan’s Labyrinth and that he thought it was good. I acknowledged this and attempted to pass it off so as not to appear conceited, but he stopped me. He really thought this movie was good, an excellently conceived and executed fairy tale. This continues to impress me because my friend taught a class in Germanic Folklore and another in Film Studies, and he was not easily impressed. Doug himself had told me that he was very much aware during filming that he was participating in a work of genuine art.

The story itself is a well-constructed mythology set in Spain during time of war. There is, of course, another theme I always like in such stories: a relationship with a child (in this case, a young girl). In addition to portraying the title character (the fawn) my brother also played the Pale Man (Pallido Hombre) with the eyeballs in his palms.

Still shot from Pan's Labyrinth (2006), directed  by Guillermo del Toro.
Still shot from Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), directed by Guillermo del Toro.

Trained as a mime, Doug knows how to make the prosthetics of creature acting work effectively, and he brought these characters to life by body movements and facial expressions (even under heavy makeup) that convey emotion. He also learned his lines in Spanish (which he does not speak) so that the voice-overs would be convincing.

Okay. Enough fawning over the fawn played by my brother. I have longer gallery posts about Doug (Beneath the Monster and Post Mortem) on my other blog site (MORE THAN MONSTERS). You can read these by clicking here  and here. You may also view a documentary about Doug Jones by clicking here.

With Doug at a recent family vacation in Brian Head, Utah.
With Doug at a recent family vacation in Brian Head, Utah.
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4 thoughts on “Doug Jones: Man of Mythology”

  1. I missed Pan’s Labyrinth but I’ll add it to my must see list. I find it interesting the kind of preparation actors have to undergo to make full use of make-up and prosthetics. I think we all just get bogged down in the look of things and we forget that there’s an actual human being under all that who still has to bring the character of life. I was watching the dvd of the third Terminator movie and the actress who played the female Terminator was explaining how she worked with a mime to learn how to convey emotions with nothing but gestures.

    The mark of great acting for me is in the details. Idiosyncrasies, mannerisms, fleeting gestures that often go unnoticed. These show how deeply the actor is committed to portraying the character. So things like learning Spanish just show the level of devotion your brother has to his craft.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a thorough commentary. I really appreciate the feedback. I find your point on mime interesting since my brother was originally trained as a mime. If you would like to know more about him, I encourage you to follow the links in yesterday’s post. They will take you to a couple of other posts I have made about him and to a good documentary about his background and career. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

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