Doug Jones is one of the most gifted physical performers in Hollywood, a lanky chameleon who’s lent his frame and talents to everything from malevolent monstrosity The Pale Man (Pan’s Labyrinth), to malevolent monstrosity Mac Tonight (’80s McDonald’s commercials, our everlasting nightmares.) Whether appearing in Hellboy or Guillermo Del Toro’s recent The Shape Of Water, though, Jones always makes his prosthetic-heavy performances look seamless. So it’s nice to have a little reminder that there are very few people in the movie industry who can move as comfortably, or as artistically, under all that makeup as he does.
Said reminder comes courtesy of a recent Vanity Fair piece on the design of Jones’ Shape Of Water character, known only as The Asset in the film. There’s a lot of talk about the lengths the film’s designers went to to make the woman-monster romance at the story’s center palatable—much of it related to the aesthetics of fishman butt—but Del Toro notes one instance that served as a testament to Jones’ resilience, rather than his monstrous fuckability.
The scene in question: a fantasy dancing sequence between the Asset and the film’s hero, Sally Hawkins’ Elisa. Del Toro considered bringing in a dancing double to take some of the more technical burdens off of his long-time colleague Jones. But:
We came up with a great idea, which is to get [Jones] a dancing double. But the dancing double put on the suit, sweated a lot, did one take, vomited, and passed out. That shows you how strong Doug is.
Don’t fuck around with Doug Jones.