Actor Dougie (Doug Jones) writes on Sunday, June 10th from the Hellboy 2 Set:
EVERYONE IS BACK
So great to finally have everyone here. Old buddies Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Selma Blair (Liz Sherman), Jeffrey Tambor (Agent Manning), and Brian Steele (a few of our bad guy creatures) all arrived for a final week of rehearsals, meeting up with us, who were here a tad earlier, Luke Goss (the haunting Prince Nuada), Anna Walton (the enchanting Princess Nuala), John Alexander (Johann Krauss), and myself (that yummy fish filet).
Oh my word, how I love this man! 2 days before filming began, we had an on-camera make-up film test. During filming, we have seperate make-up trailers, but for this day, we were in chairs next to each other. I don’t think I can adequately express how it felt to watch Hellboy and Abe come together, piece by piece in the mirrors. It was like finally getting back to that fun summer camp to see all the friends you missed during the year….. only it’s been 4 years. Brothers Red and Blue are back, and it just feels right.
It is so good to have another actor going through the kind of make-up application that I am. At the end of that make-up test day, with Ron getting pulled out of his 5 hours of demon bits, and me getting pulled out of my 6 hours of fish bits, we were both in our own worlds of clean up. When all our prosthetic rubber bits had been removed and unglued, that’s when I hear a deep voice say, “Hey Dougie”. I reply, “Yes, Ronny?” I turn to Ron, who is looking at me with glue streaks, sweat, and red smears on his face, as I look at him with glue streaks, sweat, and blue smears on my face. He locks eyes with me dead-pan for a beat. Then in his good-natured sarcasm ….. “There has to be an easier way to make a living.” I just smiled at him, knowing he loves being Hellboy. He smiled back, knowing I love being Abe. No words necessary.
This may sound redundant, but oh my word, how I love this woman! Selma had me doubled over laughing one day as we were being driven to a rehearsal together, telling about the paparazzi guys on bikes that spotted her on the streets of Budapest just that morning. Imagine what YOU might look like while out walking your dog before the day has actually started, and then picture your feelings as 3 different bikes stop with professional cameras snapping at you with zoom lenses.
THE STUDIO PARTY
We are the first film ever to shoot in brand new studio facilities just outside Budapest. So, the Hungarian studio hosted a little welcome party in our honor, a little over a week ago. While taking a big bite of my “typically Hungarian fish stew”, a nice local man from the studio asked me how I liked the food. What an unfortunate moment to have a mouth FULL of fish fat. Doing the gentlemanly nodding of the head with my eyebrows up, trying to be gracious, Selma sees into my eyes and said in front of everyone, “You hate it, don’t you.” Dear me, I love this girl. She says whatever we are all thinking, but would never say out loud.
Yep, you guessed it ….. oh my word, how I love this man! Jeffrey is possibly the funniest man ever. Everything he says is done with this serious face and such conviction, but when you listen to how ludacris his words are, well, he is just delicious. One day as we were finishing up a rehearsal of the last scene in the movie, Jeffrey has a troubled look on his face, walks over to Ron, Selma, and me, and says, “Ok, so, what are the early signs of depression again?” We all cackle laugh, but without skipping a beat, Ron pulls his sun glasses down, points to his eyes, and says, “this is one.”
Then Jeffrey informed us how much he’d love to stay and chat, but he had an audition in 20 minutes for a Hungarian porno flick about a middle aged Jewish fellow.
THE CAMERAS ROLLED, FRIDAY, JUNE 8TH
Well, a new personal record has been set. My pick up time at the hotel for our first filming day was (drum roll) ….. 1:15am!!!!! That really isn’t even today yet…… that’s still yesterday, right??? My last record early call time was 2am. What job was that on, you ask? Why “Hellboy 1”, of course.
What an exciting day for all. Guillermo del Toro was his usual little boy self, with the film set seeming like his big sand box full of toys that he had invited us all to play in. Truly a gifted man with a knack for growing the ultimate creative environment. The gifted Guillermo Navarro is also back as our Director of Photography with his talented team of usual suspects …… yep, the dream team that brought you the Best Cinematography Oscar for “Pan’s Labyrinth”. I’m not sure if we are making a movie here or having a lovely family reunion. Both, I’d say.
The first set-ups were all in the hallways of the BPRD Headquarters, our home. Jeffrey and I started the day with a very long walk & talk down a long hallway, negotiating 3 turns and 4 steps….. and yes, I’m partially blind. Came off without a hitch, thankfully, and we moved on to a more complicated set-up with 40 BPRD agents running around the hallways, and Ron, Selma, and I had to round a corner, come up those 4 steps, and end up on certain marks. That’s when it happened. I now have the honor of “Hellboy 2’s” first blooper. Right on Selmas heels, my feet got tangled in hers, I missed one of those 4 steps, and performed a most uncoordinated ker-plunk to the floor….. yeah, something like a fish flopping around on the dock just after being pulled from the water. So here’s my question: Is it really a compliment when the DVD editiors come up to you smiling to congratulate you on being the first piece of footage for the bonus features?
Another highlight of the day was sitting in my set chair between scenes. I had my eyes closed, finding my happy place, when I heard Jeffrey’s voice. He knows what a day like this is on me, so as I open my eyes and come to, I see his hand in my face with a wet, white wad on his fingers. In his distinctively dry humored voice, he asks, “There you are. Would you hold my gum?”
By the time I had wrapped for the day, been cleaned up, and driven back to the hotel, it was now over 19 hours later. Delerious, but happily content from the day, and knowing I didn’t have anything to do until the next night’s party, I closed the blackout curtains in my room, put the Do Not Disturb sign on my door, and fell into the most satisfying slumber at 9pm ……. and when did I finally wake up? At the crack of 1pm the next day ….. 16 hours later!! “Oh Dear Me,” thinks Dougie, “This could be one long shoot.”
THE KICK OFF PARTY, SATURDAY, JUNE 9TH
Our entire production company took over a swanky restaurant and courtyard for a wonderful night of frolick. Dougie ate lots of odd food, drank some cola and orange juice (not together, silly), and danced until glistening…… that sounds better than a sweaty mess, right? It was on the dance floor that a lovely British woman from our production office approached me and said, “Please forgive me, but I have to do this”….. oh dear, what on earth was this woman about to do? Something unseemly? Then I became very complimented as she incorporated a “Pale Man” pose from “Pan’s Labyrinth” into her dance, open palms on forehead and all. “I’m so sorry, but I just loved you in that movie,” she continued. And now I love her too.
Two other highlights from the night include the on-set sound mixer, Mac Ruth, coming up to me and telling the very insecure Dougie how much he likes my voice as Abe already. A sweetheart of a guy who did not have to say that, as it’s his job to listen to voices …… and I dedicate this blog installment to the two lovely fellows from our visual effects company, Double Negative, who took turns asking, “So when are you going to update your blog?”
Well ….. tomorrow’s pick up time is 3:15am (yeah, still feels like tonight, doesn’t it), so Dougie is off ….. but just a little! (That joke never gets old, I tell ya).
There’s Love!!!! —- Dougie