One that 2017’s best, most tender romances is currently nominated for several Oscars. Yet The form of Water from guillermo del Toro isn’t around love in between woman and man; it’s between woman and fish-man. And when the trailer was an initial released, pan of the Hellboy movie latched on come The form of Water as a possible prequel for del Toro’s cult favourite adaptations the the Dark equine graphic novels. Doug Jones, that starred in both The form of Water and also Hellboy play fish men, deserve to understand why.

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In The form of Water, Jones play “The Asset,” a half-fish, half-man creature recorded in the Amazon wilds. The duty bears strong similarities to another one the Jones’s ahead roles: Abe Sapien, an additional half-man, half-fish that works as an knowledge agent because that the top-secret Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD). In spite of that both the Asset and Abe Sapien space bipedal aquatic monsters, Jones tells that the two couldn’t be farther apart.

“Those comparisons space inevitable, yet they are not correct,” Jones told in a November interview. “I to be told native the very beginning this is no Abe Sapien from Hellboy. This is a fully different character. It’s no a prequel, it’s not a backstory, it’s no an origin story. That new.”

Jones acknowledges the similarities, yet advises fans and also viewers to look closer — literally. “If girlfriend look in ~ the two designs next by side, you’ll view the differences, in markings, colors, shapes, placement of gills. That different.”

As one actor, Jones likewise approached playing the personalities in wildly different ways. “Abe Sapien was a refined gentleman. Well-spoken, substantial vocabulary, might read four publications at one time, had actually a riches of knowledge in science and all kinds of things, and gestures together a refined gentleman can do.”


But in The form of Water, the heritage “is a raw animal” native the wild. “That’s what Guillermo had actually to drill right into me: You room intelligent, you deserve to learn communication, yet this is all new to him.”

The form of Water was motivated by del Toro’s childhood fantasies native watching the 1930’s monster movie Creature native the black color Lagoon, in i beg your pardon del Toro wished the monster dropped in love v Julie Adams rather of trying to kill and also eat her. “He had actually a like on Julie Adams, and also he had actually a to like on the creature,” claims Jones.

It was Creature native the black color Lagoon that educated Jones’s portrayal that the Asset an ext than Abe. “I frequently have looked in ~ nature. I studied fish when I played Abe Sapien since he to be so gesture-y and I wanted his head to it is in curious choose a goldfish. For this, despite I had actually markings and also looked favor the biology from the black Lagoon, ns didn’t want to be contrasted necessarily since it’s no a prequel. I want him to have his very own flavor. For this reason in this case, much less was more. If i was an pet from the wild in captivity and people were talking to me, exactly how would i respond?”


Jones prospered up in the American midwest “a tall, lanky, out-of-sorts feather gangly kid” that resulted in a most bullying and pressures come fit in. ~ 30 years of play monsters and also creatures, indigenous Hellboy to Pan’s Labyrinth, indigenous Fantastic Four to The shape of Water and beyond, Jones has discovered solace morphing into personalities that room inhuman.

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“Playing monster on film for me is a an excellent way to occupational through mine childhood issues, especially when lock written with sympathy, with good storylines and also relationships to it is in discovered and also explored,” Jones muses. “It’s miscellaneous I have the right to relate come in genuine life.”

The shape of Water will certainly be released on DVD and also Blu-ray in March. The 90th Acamedy Awards will certainly take ar on in march 4.