For decades, Doug Jones has been haunting your nightmares and bringing mythological creatures to life, and you might not have even known it. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1985, the angular actor has been the film industry’s go-to creature performer, dawning dozens of dazzling makeup jobs to play monsters, beasts, and—on one particular Oscar-winning occasion—an extremely sexy fish-god from the Amazon rainforest. You may have met him as the moonfaced McDonald’s spokesman Mac Tonight. Or maybe it was as Bette Midler‘s zombie ex-lover in Hocus Pocus. Or even more likely still, you know Jones from his collaborations with fellow monster enthusiast Guillermo del Toro, which includes Pan’s Labyrinth, both Hellboy films, and the Best Picture winner The Shape of Water.
Either way, Jones’ career is fascinating, and with CBS All Access gearing up for season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery—in which Jones stars, under trademark heavy prosthetics, as Kelpien Starfleet Officer Saru—we thought it’d be a good time to sit down with the man himself to discuss it. The result was an in-depth hour-long discussion covering every aspect of what it took to become Hollywood’s most prominent monster. (The journey involves getting whacked with an umbrella by Danny Devito and appearing in the music video for Smash Mouth’s “All-Star”.)
Check out the interview in the player below, and below that, I’ve listed out the full breakdown of what we talked about for anyone who wants to skip around from topic to topic.