Manny Camacho chats with Doug Jones about Falling Skies, Hellboy, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer and more…
Summer is here, for some it’s still coming, as they wait for a variety of summer series that begin this month. For me winter is still here, it came (and I hope it doesn’t leave) with Game of Thrones—I don’t even remember spring. But the summer season is just beginning with amazing new entries in a variety of series. For one of those shows it is the beginning of the end. Falling Skies begins its final season June 28th and there are so many questions for us that need answered.
Flickering Myth had a great opportunity to sit and chat with Star Doug Jones, who plays the enigmatic Volm Cochise. I was able to talk to him about this upcoming season and what it means to the 2nd Mass., for the Volm, and the viewers eagerly awaiting their return.
Manny Camacho: I’m so glad I got a chance to sit and talk with you Doug.
Doug Jones: Oh thank you! Nice to chat with you as well Manny.
MC: We actually got to meet for a short moment when I worked on Legion as a PM [years ago], I’ve always loved your work and you were very kind and approachable at the Bold Films offices.
DJ: Oh that’s sweet of you to remember that project, thank you kindly. That was a fun film to work on.
MC: Oh indeed, I’ve been a fan for some time, even though I see you on the screen inside a costume more often than not; it’s nice to see you as yourself in other films, Like in End of the Road. I got to meet Monte Moore when we were both showcasing our films at a Film Festival in Indianapolis. I loved that film.
DJ: Oh my, yes, wow [laughs], that was a great film project. You saw that!?
MC [chuckling]: Oh yes! I loved it, at first I was thinking to myself, ‘what the hell is going on,’ Then it slowly began to reveal itself and had a few little twists that threw me off. I love Indie films like that. It was totally unexpected.
DJ: That was a wonderful project, yes Monte Moore was great. That was a very different experience for me. Very sweet of you to remember that film.
MC: It was an excellent film. Since I know we’re short on time let me dive right in. Tell me about your role in Falling Skies, the final seasons upcoming premiere and how Cochise will be playing a role in the climax of this story.
DJ: As you know Cochise was introduced as one of the leaders of the Volm alien race […] locking arms with the humans and helping them with more technology. Cochise had some know-how on the behaviors of humans and what the Volm perceives as the strengths and weaknesses they had. Cochise has been key in helping the humans fight back with intel, weapons, cool gadgets […] My personal storyline as Cochise, I’ve been mostly dealing with the other leaders of the show but in season 5 I [finally] get to interact more with other characters. The writers did a great job spreading the love this year. I have some wonderful moments with Ann mason and Maggie; Ben and I have more interaction this year as our characters get closer and I’ll get to have more tactical moments—I’ll get more involved in fights and battles.
MC: You get to blow stuff up more often?
DJ: Oh yes, Cochise getting to do this more often is going to be more fun, the writers had more humor for me this year which is refreshing…serious, but fun; as much as can be expected in the middle of an alien apocalypse for a show that doesn’t really have any humor. It is pretty dark.
MC: It is but that’s part of its charm, extreme conflict with little to no hope.
DJ: That is a heavy part of it. Episode 4 of this season you will see Cochise has a storyline arc…I’ll be dealing with my own daddy issues. Whom I also play on the show (Waschak-cha’ab). I get to perform it like Patty Duke did, split screen. you can tell I’ve been dealing with these daddy issues for a couple of years.
MC: He’s definitely a hardass and doesn’t seem to be concerned for any humans.
DJ: He’s always advising me to detach from humans and stick to business. Seemingly wanting me to not concern myself with them directly. During episode 4 the Volm ship finally returns and it’s funny but very sad as all of my daddy issues come to some sort of closure. It all comes together regarding Cochise’s allegiance. Whether he is leaving [with the Volm] or staying behind with his new friends on earth. It’s like a teenager storming off to his room yelling: “Dad I like my friends…I’m going to keep them!” It’s that kind of a situation. I think back on his own planet Cochise would be the alien who sits in a tree and writes poetry without a care or concern. Now that he found these people on earth who care about each other—it’s a breath of fresh air for him, he’s not used to these emotions.
MC: Last year during the finale we got a surprise hint toward another alien race. The blurry reflection had a soft female voice and somewhat appeared like an Espheni Skitter. How will Cochise and the Volm factor into this new revelation.
DJ: That teaser yes…Tom Mason and his daughter Lexi had just saved the day, blowing up the power core on the moon, so all of the beamers in Mexico (makes noise) power down and everyone was saved YAY! We see a reflection and he (Tom) looks over and says ‘You’re beautiful.’ Yes it did look something like a skitter. At some point Tom will be asking Cochise what species was this Alien and what it meant that they were here on Earth. While it did look like a Skitter—Cochise explains there are hundreds of species like this yet he knew what/who it was. Creating a conundrum, because these aliens shouldn’t exist anymore. Bringing about another level of intrigue.
This new alien character [species] will be integral against the fight versus the Espheni. Especially with new clues and answers to the finale and the culmination of the series.
MC: Last season was very dark, a sense of hopelessness was almost a constant emotion that was palpable. Are we going to see this season slowly climb back into a strong fighting chance? A sort of fight to the last man type of spirit or slowly calming the drama toward a conclusion carried out by some third party. As the Volm originally intended?
I remember when Cochise first arrived the Volm had a very passive plan to just place all Humans in Brazil, relatively out of harms way. Are we looking at more involvement from the Volm and a third race or are the Humans ultimately going to win back their own planet?
DJ: Season 4 was definitely very dark and full of action…it was ’actiony’. There was constant peril. I shouted out once in a table read of the script: “Can’t these people get an F’n break!” of course that dark hopeless theme has to continue—it is a post apocalypse. I think [though] the light at the end of the tunnel is showing up. This new alien race is going to answer some questions and lead Tom and his family toward some kind of an answer. The 2nd mass is also on the move, they’re traveling again, which is where most of the action always lived, when they were on the road.
Doug explained how the series is taking a very specific turn into a visceral approach for their conflict. How Tom and his family closely interact more with his character, Cochise, and how new revelations slowly lead to the final battle.
DJ: The battle this year seems to be more organic, they’re giving birth to more weapons, instead of electronics, and it’s much more organic. The show really would be a disservice to the audience if another race came in to save us completely. The whole point of the show is the human spirit! Think of Cochise [when I was laying on a gurney dying] Mason pushing for him to survive […] The human spirit! The will to live, America was built on this dagnabit! the humans have to be the ones that win the battle for themselves.
MC: You know I’ve seen you in all of your performances, from the Thin Man in Batman Returns to your recent portrayal of a Stragori in The Strain. Aside from the few films where you mostly play yourself—you practically live (lived) in a makeup trailer. Do you have any favorite characters to get prepped for?
DJ: I do love them all, I have to love them to play them all. Even evil ones [which I do a lot of], because most of those characters don’t really know they are evil. If I have to pick one its Abe Sapien, he is near and dear to my heart. Makeup for Abe was a 7 hour application. For Hellboy 2 the production streamlined makeup to 5 hours; but it was 6 days a week, and 7 hour shoots. Which was the longest most involved shoot in my career. Yet [I believe], that’s what brought him to be a favorite of mine. I invested so much blood sweat and tears into Abe. I grew to love that character above the rest.
MC: The internet has gone a bit mad recently over Hellboy 3.
DJ: Right! It’s crazy! [laughs]
FMM: Indeed. Obviously we can’t completely trust what we see on IMDB anymore and we at Flickering Myth and my colleagues at other media outlets have not gotten word that any Hellboy 3 film was actually announced. So help me out here? Is it happening or is it just really Ron pushing for it. Because there is one online stating it has been announced.
DJ: Ron started this fire with a tweet using the #hellboyIII hashtag. Im guessing he’s looking ahead now that Sons of Anarchy is done. He might have also wrapped Hand of God recently. Ron has been wanting to do this for years. Selma Blair has also. Del Toro has designs for a third one. I would guess it’s a money issue. Which is outside of my expertise […] it might be Ron’s attempt with some of his internet clout to get a hashtag trending to get a film pushed into reality. I replied to his tweet. I put my own post, I guest starred on Sons of Anarchy and I posted a screen cap from Hellboy 2 in our full makeup. Then realized this is not the reunion they’re looking for “let’s hashtag this one”.
Why not right! As Ron said “…Let’s get this Muthafucka trending, ya’ll!”
We talked a bit more about Falling Skies and some of his past work. Like his role on Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and his current roles in Comic Book Television.
MC [laughing]: Let me ask you. As a writer for various other sites that have comic book news all over them I can say with some authority most fans had many issues with the prior Fantastic Four film entries, to the point of disliking those films if not hating them. That being said, I hated myself hated those movies. But you as the Silver Surfer was the only reason I partially enjoyed the sequel. Just as great as Robert Downey Jr. is for Iron Man; you’re the Silver Surfer and I’m peeved that you were wasted on those films and we may never (likely) get you back as the Surfer again. Having been in those shoes do you have any opinion on the upcoming incarnation of the Fantastic Four out this summer?
DJ: Wow, thank you, you are beyond kind. Very sweet of you to say. I loved that role. First of all I would love to play the Silver Surfer again, he was an honor to play. The role was originally a 3 picture deal. It was my understanding that he [Silver Surfer] was going to get a spinoff or a solo film. I also understand that J. Micheal Straczynski wrote another one. I never heard anything more about it. The studio went silent about the franchise for so long. It’s been what—8 years now? So I doubted they would continue that particular phase of the franchise, then I saw there was a reboot. They were doing the reboot for sure, everyone looking different and younger. Not quite as family friendly but the way the comic trends are flowing now; darker, more gravity. The trailer definitely looks great. If I was offered to return as the Surfer I would do so immediately! Thank you for the comments, that is very kind of you. Even if you didn’t actually like the original movie. I’m glad you enjoyed my role. I had the pleasure to meet Stan Lee back then and he said he loved the Silver Surfer, that he was among his favorite of all the characters he ever published [created with Jack Kirby]. Because he can wax poetic and look at humanity differently than all of the other characters they had at the time. [During my portrayal of the Silver Surfer] I drew from the early comics for this character. It was a task I had…thank you again, I like to think I was excellent at doing that, at playing that role. Bringing him to life the way he was in the comic.
MC: You definitely did Doug, it was definitely great to speak with you today, I’ve enjoyed many of your works over the years. It will be nice to see you in many more films as yourself but in the meantime you’re great inside all of those suits!
DJ: It was great to talk with you as well Manny. You know, It was nice to be myself in Arrow and Flash…even if I was shooting death from my eyes! [laughs].
MC: Yes! The previews of Deathbolt we kept releasing (for awhile) made us all wonder if the studio was bringing a Kryptonian into the series at one point.
DJ: Yeah [chuckles] and we need to see if that last shot to the face took me out completely or if I’ll ever be able to come back!
MC [laughing]: There you go—that will give the studio an excuse to cover your face with some kind of mask in case your characters face is all disfigured.
DJ [laughing]: Yeah!
Doug has over a dozen films upcoming listed as completed or in post-production at the moment on IMDB; aside from having over 150 credits to his name. Among them a very heavily promoted short film where he plays Dagon titled, Kiss the Devil in the Dark. Crimson Peak with Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, and Jessica Chastain (written and directed by Guillermo Del Toro) and many others including a Sci-Fi film titled Nobility.
Falling Skies begins its finale season Sunday June 28th. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the beginning of the end…or perhaps the the start of a new beginning. We’ll all find out in a couple of weeks!
Many thanks to Doug Jones for taking the time for this interview.
Manny Camacho is a Miami, Florida based award winning writer and independent film producer whose current novel, I Think? No, I’m Sure…God Hates Me, is available on Amazon. His next Novel Life | Face | Punch releases September 2015. Follow him on Twitter @EmanuelFCamacho and on Facebook