What I witnessed at Comic Con when Guillermo and star Doug Jones got on stage to discuss Pan’s Labyrinth shouldn’t be called a panel. That phrase is just too informal; this was more like listening to your really smart, really cool friends chat about making really badass movies. If you were there and missed it, for shame. If you weren’t there and had no choice but to miss it…don’t let it happen again!
During the chat Doug Jones was asked what it’s like to be under prosthetics and makeup for most of your career, and as would be expected, the man sees it as the chance to entertain in a wholly unique way more than he sees it as a job. ””You know what you’re saying yes to when you say yes to a movie that involves creatures or prosthetic makeup, anything with a zipper up your back or mechanical head, ears, tail…the further away you get from a human character the more difficult it’s going to be.”
His latest role as both Pan and the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth offered up some interesting, if not altogether new, challenges for the actor: “Guillermo said, ‘Think like how a barn animal would have to shake off flies and stuff,'” he told the crowd. “And I’m thinking, ‘Man, I’d like to do a role where I don’t have to do the research at the zoo…’ (laughs). When I was getting ready for Abe Sapien in Hellboy, I watched my goldfish in my home office (crowd laughs)… I did! It was important to get the movements down, to see how the head turned and the body slowly followed…”
It’s all par for the course for Jones at this point, but I get the feeling he wouldn’t trade it for the world. “As far as the discomfort and whatnot, you just kind of have to think like an athlete as well as an actor,” he explained. “Work through the pain, the discomfort, the heat, and the long days; just make that performance happen when the camera rolls, that’s the most important thing. I make sure I don’t expend too much energy messing around on set. When I’m off camera I have to be still and quiet and finding that… happy place.”
Pan’s Labyrinth is due out in theaters this December and will hopefully get all the accolades it so richly deserves. Be sure to check out our early review of it here for a taste!
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