Creature performances have enthralled moviegoers since the silent film era. Lon Chaney and his son, Lon Chaney Jr., revolutionized the creature performance in films like The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), and The Wolfman (1941), but who are the performers behind the make-up in today’s cinema?
Warwick Davis who stars in the upcoming film “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I” and Doug Jones (Hellboy 2, Carnies) are among these performers.
Here’s our complete Top 7 Creature Performers list.
7. Camden Toy – Camden Toy is a versatile actor who was a creature mainstay on the hit Joss Whedon show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He played multiple creatures on the show ranging from demons to vampires to one of the gentlemen in the award-winning episode Hush. Currently, Camden is busy acting in multiple films like the upcoming Marvel Studios film Thor, and even branching out into voice-over work for the upcoming film Carnies.
6. Derek Mears – Derek Mears uses his large frame and stunt training to bring to life some of the most iconic characters in the horror genre. He dons the infamous Predator outfit in the upcoming Robert Rodriguez film Predators starring Adrien Brody. Last year he took over the role of Jason Voorhees in the Michael Bay re-envisioning of Friday the 13th. Derek has also appeared in both of the The Hills Have Eyes remakes playing deformed homicidal maniacs, and he played a werewolf in Wes Craven’s Cursed.
5. Warwick Davis – This little person has done some huge roles in his career. His first role was as the lovable Ewok Wicket in George Lucas’s blockbuster film The Return of the Jedi. Since then, he scared us in the horror film series Leprechaun, and plays the half-goblin professor Filius Flitwick in the Harry Potter films, including the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.
4. Kane Hodder – Kane Hodder is best known for playing Jason Voorhees in four Friday the 13th films. He got his start as a creature performer in the 80’s horror hit House 2 as a gorilla. Later this year you will see him returning as the deformed killer Victor Crowley in Adam Green’s Hack 2.
3. Brian Steele – Brian Steele is the go to guy for large creatures, or in his case very large creatures. This 6 foot 7 inch actor has played some of our favorite creatures in numerous films. This year, he will play a Predator in the upcoming Predators film. He has also been a werewolf in all three Underworld films, as well as numerous characters in Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy films. Brian got his start as a creature performer playing the lovable big foot character Harry in the TV series Harry and the Hendersons.
2. Andy Serkis – Andy isn’t like the others on this list since he does not don pounds of make-up and prosthetics in his creature performances. Andy, is the top CGI performer in the world. What does that mean? He does the performances and then the computer artist CG in a character on top of his performance. What notable characters has he done you ask? Well, he played King Kong in the Peter Jackson remake of King Kong. Also, he was amazing as Gollum in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings trilogy, which he will be reprising in the upcoming film The Hobbit. Andy will also play the lead ape Caesar the upcoming Planet of the Apes prequel called Rise of the Apes.
1. Doug Jones – Dubbed by LA Times as the modern day Lon Chaney, Doug Jones is the go to guy for creature performances. Doug, a former mime artist, has played some of the most memorable characters in modern film. He is Guillermo Del Toro’s go to actor, playing Abe Sapien in Hellboy 1 and 2, as well as the Faun and the creepy Pale Man in the Academy award winning film Pan’s Labyrinth. He was also the Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four 2, the Rise of the Silver Surfer, Mac in the Mac Tonight Mcdonald’s commercials, and the Ice Cream Man in the film Legion. Looks like he will be playing Frankenstein’s monster in Del Toro’s remake of Frankenstein. Doug also has been working steadily out of make-up lately, starring in the upcoming independent film Carnies and the hit web series Universal Dead.
By: Chris Staviski