(EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DOUG JONES – CONTINUED – Page 2)
DOUG JONES: I do love rollerblading, and even though I’m a tad clumsy at it, this does help with finding an athletic posture that requires balance. The one obvious thing I did not do, was actually learn to surf in the ocean. I guess I wanted the Silver Surfer to move with a grace that comes from another world, not from Newport Beach. It was all about finding balletic poses with the strength and confidence of one who holds the power cosmic. This inspiration came directly from my review of the early comic books with Jack Kirby’s beautiful drawings and Stan Lee’s (or as I like to call him, “Dad’s”) poetic writing with a gentlemanly use of proper grammar. I also drew from the Christ-like imagery of this character, who sacrificed himself to save his own home planet. Now that’s the stuff of a true hero to me.
WONDERLANCER: The independent film My Name is Jerry, allowed you to perform what you’ve considered to be your ‘dream role’ and in fact you hold this movie very dear to your heart. Would you please share with us a bit about the character, the movie and what else makes it so special to you?
DOUG JONES: As I clutch my heart and tilt my head, I fondly remember this whole experience. Jerry is my favorite “human” character I’ve ever played. He was written specifically for me originally by our young director Morgan Mead and Andy Janoch, with re-writes by David Hamilton. I find Jerry to be so endearing as he’s stuck in a sad little life he created for himself and is now entering a full-blown mid-life crisis. I’ve been through this in my real life, and if handled well, we can come out of it with a healthy re-invention of careers, priorities, and relationships.
This period of life can be familiar to us when it hits, because we tend to go through something similar in our 20’s when we’re trying to find our place in the world. The 20-something story is also told here, as Jerry befriends a group of younger punk rockers and forms a special friendship with a girl about the same age as his own estranged daughter … another topic that resonates as we are surrounded by broken families in our world.
MY NAME IS JERRY offers some hope of this all coming right, while exploring an emotional range that goes from laughter to tears. I felt Morgan Mead’s direction with me was flawless, as he inspired such well thought-out beats on the tightest film schedule I’ve ever had, filming up to 13 pages a day. Another selling point is that this was all filmed in my home state of Indiana with my alma mater Ball State University acting as our studio by financing the film. Kind of ground-breaking for a university to back a commercially viable movie headed for the real marketplace.
And what this also did, was create a work/study program for film and theatre students who staffed up our crew under the department heads from Hollywood. A learning experience you can’t get in the classroom. It was so refreshing to be surrounded by this much enthusiasm as these puppies would all be so happy to come to work, reminding me why I got started in the business, myself.
And in the end, we have countless festival awards (including my first acting award outside of make-up), with the film currently on DVD, Netfilx instant view, and recently added on Hulu. Not too bad for a little indie, eh?
WONDERLANCER: Definetely worth watching, more than once. We know that apart from your performing abilities, in which singing is yet another one, there’s something you like doing and do very well behind the scenes… who would you give a haircut?
DOUG JONES: EEK, someone’s been reading up on me! Some people go to their garages to throw paint on a canvas or sculpt a lump of clay to relieve artistic stress. My lump of clay is a head of hair. I’ve been cutting my own since I was in 7th grade. Whether it’s a buzz cut or something longer, if you’ve seen me on camera as a human, that haircut was created by me at home. I’m not licensed as a barber, but I’ve created haircuts on friends and family, for decades, including the current look on my lovely Mrs. Laurie’s cute little head.
WONDERLANCER: We’re so glad we can enjoy of your art in the sci-fi TV series Falling Skies, and very excited about seeing you in Crimson Peak, which is due to be released in the fall; what else is out there with Dougie’s stamp all over it?
DOUG JONES: My very silly, but beautifully photographed coffee table book comes to bookstores, MIME VERY OWN BOOK, making fun of all pop culture, famous works of art, famous movie posters, historic photos, social commentary, and of course mimes. I started as a mime many years ago, so re-joining my beginnings with all this “punny” humor was nothing short of magical for me. Things you’ll see in the book: “A Mime is a Terrible Thing to Waste,” “Once Upon a Mime,” “Venus DeMimelo”, “Frank-n-Mime”, “The Little MerMime,” “MimeHammed Ali,” and on and on. It’s available at Amazon.
I also have a bunch of feature films finished, apart from Crimson Peak, that haven’t been released yet. For this and other Dougie news, my official website has it all >
WONDERLANCER: Yes!! So many ‘pressies’ to look forward to, thank you! Now, let’s also talk about your mentoring work. You mentor, alongside your wife Laurie, young people that wish to have a career in film, which is very laudable! How does the Puppies-Moniker process/relationship work?
DOUG JONES: Awwww… “The Puppies”!!! Mrs. Laurie and I were never able to have kids of our own in our 27 years together, a doctor even said so. Through this, we learned that we may have been placed here for a different reason. 20-somethings (and some have grown into 30-somethings), young enough to be our children, have made their way into our lives and formed a special connection with us, like family over the past 10 years.
So many young people in Los Angeles are here either from families that they love and miss, or from situations they don’t miss. Either way, it can feel nice to have a mom & dad figure close by.
It’s not at all show-biz related, and is not a get started program for that. But because I am in entertainment, naturally a lot of our “Puppies” are pursuing their dreams in show-biz.
WONDERLANCER: Doug, it’s been a honour and a pleasure. All the very best in all your endeavours!
DOUG JONES: Thank YOU for having me! This has been one of the most creative interviews, covering things no one else has asked before. It always humbles me that anyone would want to hear from me, so seriously, thank you.