Doug Jones has been in around 150 movies in the past 30 years, but you wouldn't recognize him if you saw him on the street. That's because he's almost always buried under a layer of latex and prosthetics as an alien, a monster, or a ghost. Jones is 6' 3" and weighs only 140 pounds, and he's the go-to guy for inhuman roles because he knows what he's doing.
Jones is in high demand thanks to a distinctly idiosyncratic set of skills. "A creature performer needs to be a very odd combination of marathon runner and a mime, who can express himself through layers and layers of latex and acrylic and silicon," said del Toro, who has worked with Jones on six of his feature films. "It's a very, very rare discipline … [and] there are very, very few that are actual actors, in my opinion, that go beyond being able to work in a suit or under makeup. Doug is a proper actor. When you need that level of finesse, Doug is the only one I've met that I trust with that level of commitment and craftsmanship and artistry."
In person, Jones is voluble and friendly company, but he's not all that keen on preening over his one-of-a-kind professional success. "I'm hired because I'm a tall, skinny guy — with other talents, I hope," he said. "But the creature effects guys love to start with a skinny, long palette, because they can build on it and not make it too bulky." He shrugged off any suggestion that he's cracked the code for enduring multiple hours of makeup application each day — "I sit there, basically, or I stand there" — and he chalks up maintaining his strikingly lean physique to a "very boring" exercise routine of elliptical machines and light dumbbell lifting, and "the metabolism of a 16-year-old."
Jones' latest role is that of Saru on Star Trek: Discovery. Read about Jones and his unique career at Buzzfeed. You'll be surprised to find how many times you've already enjoyed his work.
(Image credit: Brent Humphreys for BuzzFeed News)