A Famous Face You've Probably Never Seen

Doug_Jones_by_Gage_Skidmore

 

Most Geeks know who Andy Serkis is.  Many Geeks might even know what Andy Serkis actually looks like.

Does the man in the picture above look familiar at all?

No, it’s not Benedict Cumberbatch’s skinnier brother.

It wouldn't be an article by Tom without a Cumberbatch reference.  Hi, Jenny.
It wouldn’t be an article by Tom without a Cumberbatch reference. Hi, Jenny.

That’s Doug Jones.  Like Andy Serkis, Jones has been in a number of movies beloved by Geeks.  Unlike Serkis, Jones doesn’t do CGI motion-capture.  He does practical effects under tons of prosthetics.  Guillermo del Toro pretty much has the guy on speed dial.  His talent is the ability to act through make-up, which is a fairly impressive skill shared by few actors.

Still not sure who the guy is?  Let’s throw up some pics of the guy in some of his better known roles.

That's him on the left.
That’s him on the left.

Remember what I said about him being on del Toro’s speed-dial?  He was the only guy in Pan’s Labyrinth who didn’t speak Spanish.  That was OK, though, since the servo motors in the costume he wore as the title character meant he couldn’t hear what anyone else was saying anyway.

Watson goes out for drinks with this guy as his wingman.
Watson goes out for drinks with this guy as his wingman.

Of course, he did play one other memorable character in that particular movie…

You didn't need to sleep tonight, did you?
You didn’t need to sleep tonight, did you?

But hey, there’s a new Fantastic Four movie coming out this year.  Did you know he was in one of the older ones?

You can see the disappointment of a thousand FFs fan who realized Galactus was a giant cloud reflected off his head.
You can see the disappointment of a thousand FF fans who realized Galactus was a giant cloud in this movie reflected off his head.

Yeah, Jones played the Silver Surfer.  And then the studio decided it needed a better-known actor and redubbed all his lines with the smooth, dulcet tones of Laurence Fishburne.  That wasn’t even the first time it happened, either.  His lines as Abe Sapien in the original Hellboy were dubbed over by David Hyde Pierce.  Pierce, however, was a class act about that when he learned what happened, modeled his own performance after Jones’, and asked not to be credited in the movie.  Jones would voice Abe in Hellboy 2.  He also voiced Abe for a Hellboy cartoon or two, a Hellboy video game or two, and even got to be the Surfer for an FF video game.

Of course, the guy has played roles where he can show his face, but looking over his IMDB page, the only roles I recognize are ones like these.  But still, the guy gets around.

Yeah, he was all these guys.
Yeah, he was all these guys.

 

 

 

tomk74

Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

6 thoughts on “A Famous Face You've Probably Never Seen

  1. I love Doug Jones. I was granted a chance to meet him and his wife this past summer, and he is one of the most gracious and kind men I have ever met. He truly loves his fans, and is humble about his talents. There should be more like Doug Jones out there!

    1. Here’s why his talent is so unique: for all his best-known roles, he had to create a whole character without any part of his face being visible. Even Andy Serkis, a talented actor in his own right, has his facial movements grafted onto whatever motion capture character he’s playing. Jones has to act through the make-up. Not many actors can do that. Peter Weller did it with Robocop. Boris Karloff did it as Frankenstein’s monster. And I think Tatiana Maslany could do it given how much she can display different characters using just body language in “Orphan Black”.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: