by Staci Wilson
Doug Jones, a fan fave — and of course a longtime friend to HDC as you all know — is in an upcoming film which puts him in a new light (and that's really saying something for this chameleon-like character actor!). I was lucky enough to get this exclusive interview with Doug about not only Raze, but a few other upcoming and current projects.
Staci Layne Wilson / Horror.com: How were you first approached about Raze?
Doug Jones: It was one of those "who you know" scenarios! RAZE director Josh Waller was having a meeting with another director of mine, Mike Flannagan (ABSENTIA) about another new film collaboration, and he mentioned this role of Joseph in RAZE that he was having trouble casting. Mike immediately said, "Have you considered Doug Jones?" This got Josh to tilt his head at the odd choice I'd be to play the patriarch of a society that forces women to fight each other to the death. He then brought it up to our lead actress, Zoe Bell, who is also producing, and she was sweet enough to insisted that he cast me. They all slept on it and came back the next day with Josh asking everyone, "Are you still haunted by Doug Jones like I am?" Thankfully everyone in the room was, so my manager got the call.
You'd worked with Zoe before, right? …What is it about her that makes her so special?
Doug Jones: Yes, I co-starred as her mafia doctor in ANGEL OF DEATH, in which she played a mafia hit-woman. We totally hit it off then, so that's why she campaigned to have me in RAZE. There is no other actress like Zoe Bell. Of course she's known as the best stunt woman of our time, but her acting has come so far. Wait until you see the emotional gravity she brings to the role of Sabrina in RAZE. That is what will drive this movie forward, more than the amazing fight scenes. She is tough as nails, but has such a sexy feminine side that makes her incredibly unique. My favorite moment was when she was about to go back into the studio to continue shooting an intense fight scene, covered in bruises and bloody bits, and she took a moment to apply her favorite perfume. She's such a delightful contradiction.
Please explain a little bit about who you are in Raze, and what his agenda is. (I've seen that photo of you menacing sweet Sherilyn Fenn!)
Doug Jones: As Joseph, the head of this insane, elite, secret society that runs the underground tournament, it is an "honor" that has been handed down through my family's bloodline for thousands of years, from the days of early Greece, with a fascination for the legendary Maenads (crazy, violent women) from that time. So once every five years, we hold this tournament with women we've been watching for their athletic prowess, and kidnap them into this forced survival of the fittest situation. I had the amazing honor to have the iconic beauty Sherilyn Fenn play my wife, Elizabeth, in this story. That menacing photo was just one of our many, twisted moments of us being lovey-dovey in this bizarre premise.
The premise of the film seems interesting -- kind of like The Running Man meets Gladiator meets Spike TV's The Deadliest Warrior! Serious action and some pretty brutal deaths. I was told that each contestant is pitted against another for their own special, unique set of skills. So tell me -- not aloud, of course -- how a mime would fare in this type of hand-to-hand warfare?
Doug Jones: Yes, the set-up is like a religious cult thing from my character's viewpoint, but the audience will be rooting for Zoe's character as she and the other captive women prove to what lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves. We set the stakes very high to inspire them to keep fighting and winning. Oh, and a mime would get his silent ass kicked into an invisible bloody pulp.
Er.... "Speaking" of mimes, how's the experience been since Mime Very Own Book was released? Anything unexpected / cool / creepy you can share, experience-wise, as the author of such a unique endeavor?
Doug Jones: I've been so complimented with the number of people showing up online with pictures of themselves as mimes because the book inspired them! We did a signing at a Barnes & Noble, and the unexpected part was that they usually have authors do a excerpt reading from their books. How does one do that from a coffee table photo book? Our conceptual authors, Scott Allen Perry and Adam Mock, along with our photographer Eric Curtis and I all had to improvise quickly with tossing me out in front of our audience to do a couple of mime jigs. I was totally unprepared for this!! But the good news is that it is selling well, and the same creative team has put together another coffee table photo book called FALLEN SUPERHEROES. A hilarious look at all the superheroes that never made it, and why. My hero in the book is "Healing Feet". I show up with angel wings to heal, but I got the gift in my feet instead of my hands. No one wants me to lay my feet on them, so they'd rather wait for an ambulance. Thus my character is a "Fallen" superhero.