Boo! It’s Halloween! Throughout October, HollywoodLife is running The Sound Of Halloween, where some of your favorite fiends of the music, movies, television, and pop culture worlds pick songs that should be on your Halloween 2022 playlist. For this installment, actor Doug Jones – the man behind the mask of such iconic characters as Abe Sapien in Hellboy, Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth, Baron Afanas in What We Do In The Shadows, Saru in Star Trek: Discovery, and Billy Butcherson in both Hocus Pocus movies – joins in on the fun.
For an actor who spent a considerable amount of his career behind a mask, Halloween hits a bit different for Mr. Jones “When I’m home in Los Angeles during Halloween, I love attending the lavish costume parties thrown by various creature effects companies I’ve worked with,” he tells HollywoodLife about his October traditions. “I can’t compete, so I just wear something silly with a punch line, like the time I sewed an American flag down the side of a silver leotard, made a crude aluminum foil eagle for my head, and called myself a flagpole. At my skinny height, it got an immediate chuckle out of everyone.”
Chances are that Doug Jones will be part of your Halloween. Appearing in such films as Legion, Ouija: Origin of Evil, The Bye Bye Man, and the works of Guillermo del Toro, chances are that Mr. Jones will pop up during your horror movie marathon. He can also be part of your Halloween party, with his picks for The Sound of Halloween playlist.
Doug Jones’s Halloween Playlist Picks
Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers, “The Monster Mash”
Doug: It has nostalgia for me as one of the first songs that ever made it into my personal Halloween season with spooky giggles as a child.
Michael Jackson, “Thriller”
I was only a couple of years younger than MJ, and we all wanted to sing and dance like him back then. Little did I know that watching his transformation into a werewolf in that music video would foretell the career I had ahead of me. Add Vincent Price‘s voice to the mix, and that song always marks the chill of the season!
Bette Midler, “I Put A Spell On You”
I had the privilege of being in the room when Bette [Midler] filmed that stage performance in the first Hocus Pocus movie, and it has become the most fun, toe-tapping song with happy memories to mark Halloween season for me ever since.
(Editor’s Note: Since Bette’s rendition of the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins song wasn’t included on the original Hocus Pocus soundtrack or such, it’s not available on streaming as of October 2022. To fulfill Mr. Jones’ request — at least, until Disney decides to put the song on Spotify/Tidal — we’re including “The Witches Are Back” from the Hocus Pocus 2 soundtrack, and a version of Bette’s rendition, done by drag performer Ginger Minj.
HollywoodLife: When someone says “Halloween,” what’s the first thing that jumps into your mind from your past?
My first instant memory is trick-or-treating at about age 6, steaming up the inside of a plastic, store-bought face mask with an elastic string around the back of my head and a baggy, silky costume tied at the back of the neck that went over my own clothes. I think I was a lion, and I loved the thought that no one in the neighborhood would know it was me as I gave my little boy “Rawrrr” like I owned the jungle.
What do you think will be the most popular Halloween costume this year? and what SHOULD be?
Well, this year with the release of Hocus Pocus 2, I think group costumes as the Sanderson Sisters and Billy Butcherson will be everywhere. And since I played Billy on film, I’m sure hoping for this.
Do you have any particular October/Halloween traditions?
When I’m home in Los Angeles during Halloween, I love attending the lavish costume parties thrown by various creature effects companies I’ve worked with. The costumes and make-ups that come in a room like that are usually originals done by the most gifted artists in the world. I can’t compete, so I just wear something silly with a punch line, like the time I sewed an American flag down the side of a silver leotard, made a crude aluminum foil eagle for my head, and called myself a flag pole. At my skinny height, it got an immediate chuckle out of everyone.
If given a budget and free range to do whatever, what horror movie would you star in? You can remake any film of the past, or you could create your own.
Well, my answer to this one actually came true! I always wanted to play the classic, hideous vampire Nosferatu, and it actually happened in a remake that combines the original silent film’s backdrops and sets with us new actors digitally added in with dialogue and sound. It is dreamy for me to check this off my bucket list, and it should be released to the public soon, before the other recently announced Nosferatu with Bill Skarsgard comes out. This could get confusing because the property is in the public domain.
What’s on tap for October for you — and the rest of the year?
This Halloween season and almost until Christmas, I’m in production on season 5 of Star Trek: Discovery as Captain Saru, and also returning for a couple more episodes of What We Do In The Shadows as Baron Afanas, so I’ll be in costumes and make-ups all month, but without the reward of candy.