Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Doug Jones talks LEGION’s Ice Cream Man, del Toro possibilities


By Michael Gingold
Fango recently chatted with actor Doug Jones, a favorite creature performer of Guillermo del Toro, who’s now on screen—albeit briefly—in Screen Gems’ supernatural actioner LEGION. “Yes, it’s a cameo, actually—90 seconds of pure terror!” the actor quips of his appearance as the Ice Cream Man, who distends demonically to threaten the human characters caught up in a war between destructive angels.

“Scott Stewart, the director, was very kind in coming to me to do this little showcase moment; he wanted to present me in a genre piece that would feature my face,” Jones, who has traditionally been buried under prosthetics in the likes of PAN’S LABYRINTH and the HELLBOY movies, tells Fango. “I make an appearance as some guy driving an ice cream truck, and all of a sudden I start morphing and changing and oh my gosh! And the next minute is a big screamfest. I had a great time working on it—mostly reading the entire script, even though I didn’t have one word of dialogue; I grunt and strain and my bones creak. But the screenplay brings up a whole lot of theology and questions about religion, ’cause by the time I finished reading it, I thought, ‘Is God the bad guy in this story? And if so, ugh, my mom’s gonna hate me for doing this movie!




“So I talked to Scott Stewart about this before we filmed, and he said, ‘No, I’m not preaching anything about religion.’ He just wanted an excuse to make a movie where angels are holding machine guns and knives and fighting, and it was really cool. On a theological level, if you will, the question the movie poses is, if you were living in Old Testament times, where God was often wrathful and vengeful in the Scriptures, would humanity be at a place today where we deserve a second flood, much like Noah and his family endured? The answer would probably be a big fat yes. And this flood is a legion of angels coming from heaven instead of water raining down. So it’s a great discussion-starter. If you look at it that way, it’s just a retelling of a tale that’s already been told. And for entertainment’s sake, LEGION’s a great, kick-ass movie.”

Although Jones has done any number of movies in which he’s been augmented via digital FX (most notably FANTASTIC 4: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER, in which he played the title role), he had never directly collaborated before with Stewart, a visual FX vet making his feature directorial debut on LEGION. “His type of work usually comes after I’m done with something, when they add computer graphics to what I’ve done, or around me or on me. There might be someone from the company on set to make sure we’re going about things correctly so they can add things later, but I never met Scott in that capacity.” Nonethless, Stewart is apparently a fan of Jones and sought him out specifically. “For that, I’m eternally grateful to him,” Jones says, “and knowing his work now, I’m a big fan of his too. I can’t wait to see PRIEST, the one he’s doing with Paul Bettany [who stars as LEGION’s Michael] again, with vampires.”

While Jones didn’t wind up reteaming with Stewart on PRIEST, he’s looking forward to getting back before the cameras for del Toro. Rumors have flown about roles he might play for the celebrated director, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet. “I would do anything Guillermo films, and he has been quoted as saying that if he does a hemorrhoid commercial, I will be in it, so those are comforting words. Of course he’s working on THE HOBBIT next, and after that he has announced that he’d like to make his own FRANKENSTEIN movie and use me as the monster. He told the world that, though we haven’t talked about it yet, but I’m sure we will soon. And I’m sure he knows my answer would be a big fat yes. Creatively, artistically—without all that contractual stuff yet—my answer is a big fat yes.”

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