Doug Jones was inspired to start acting by Barney Fife

The awkward deputy was a welcome sight to an awkward kid.

The Everett Collection / CBS Studios

Even if you don't recognize the name Doug Jones, you probably know Doug Jones. The tall, contortionist actor with mime training is famously known for his roles where he plays nonhuman characters in heavy prosthetics, especially in collaboration with director Guillermo del Toro. You may know him as Abe Sapien from Hellboy, The Faun and The Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth, the Amphibian Man from The Shape of Water, undead ex-lover Billy Butcherson from Hocus Pocus, and most recently as Captain Saru from Star Trek: Discovery.

Jones' unique body is an asset to his dozens of screen credits. A long, lanky frame is a perfect canvas for extensive prosthetics and makeup because they can be added without making the character look unusually bulky. 

However, that doesn't mean it was easy growing up as a tall, skinny kid with long limbs. Recently at Star Trek: Mission Chicago, Jones spoke about his experience as a child, saying that he was called "ostrich" by other children. Growing up in Indiana, Jones, who now stands at six-foot-three and 140 pounds, endured a lot of mocking from other kids.

At Jones' panel, an audience member asked if any specific actors inspired him to go into the business. Jones said yes, and revealed a surprising role model: Barney Fife!

As an awkward, lanky kid, Jones felt connected with the awkward, lanky Don Knotts when The Andy Griffith Show came on TV. If acting was where Don Knotts thrived, then that's where Doug Jones needed to be.

"Don Knotts was just a master and a king to me,” Jones has previously said. "He was not what you would consider a classically handsome man, so I figured if he could make it, so could I."

Watch The Andy Griffith Show on MeTV!

Weeknights at 8 PM & 8:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

15 Comments

Post a comment
MichaelFields 1 month ago
Loved him in Hocus Pocus and really like him as Suru and of course in Hell boy, he makes great movies and you never know who he is
Michael 1 month ago
Nope, never heard of him.

So he's here because he mentioned Don Knotts in an old article.
MichaelFields Michael 1 month ago
You never heard of him because he always does work in heavy make up, so you never saw the first 2 Hellboy movies, or the shape of water or the new star trek Discovery or Pan's Labyrinth or the classic and WORLD FAMOUS Hocus Pocus, if so you have not watched anything good. He was in those movies and a big part of those movies, but you could not tell as again heavy make up
Runeshaper 1 month ago
That's really cool that Don Knotts inspired Doug Jones (-:
Andybandit 1 month ago
Doug Jones kind of looks like Don Knotts.
Andybandit 1 month ago
I never heard of him. I didn't know they made a Star Trek discovery on TV. I only the 4 Star Trek that were on TV after the original one was of the air.
StrayCat Andybandit 1 month ago
Star Trek Discovery thus far is only on Paramount+, a streaming service. I believe it's currently in its 4th season.
Andybandit StrayCat 1 month ago
Thank you, I don't have paramount+. I don't stream anything. That is probably why I never heard of it.
LoveMETV22 Andybandit 1 month ago
I don't follow the series on a regular basis, but I always find it interesting how popular and profitable franchises such as Star Trek and even Star Wars are.
Zip 1 month ago
"You may know him as Abe Sapien from Hellboy, The Faun and The Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth, the Amphibian Man from The Shape of Water, undead ex-lover Billy Butcherson from Hocus Pocus, and most recently as Captain Saru from Star Trek: Discovery."

The only one I even get a glimpse of who this guy is, is from Hocus Pocus, because that is the only movie up there that I remember. Saw Hellboy, but don't remember it and don't want to. The others I haven't seen at all. It would have been nice to see a picture of the actor without a costume up there, to see what he really looks like.
That said, anyone who has Don Knotts as an inspiration is ok in my book.
Zip CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
Thanks Capt.
He does sort of look like Don, as AndyBandit stated above.
FrankensteinLover 1 month ago
Don Knotts was A Comic Genius, and Absolutely Hilarious.
Agree. He was uniquely funny. IMO underappreciated in his time. But now that I keep watching TAGs, there's plenty of opportunity to notice him. He was fortunate to have Andy Griffith let him run his ground. Not every actor could handle the scene-stealing.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?