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Doug Jones Talks His “Fish Man” Character in Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water


Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War fantasy film The Shape of Water began shooting August of last year, and while we’ve been pretty occupied with the director’s animated Netflix series Trollhunters, some new details are getting us pumped.

Actor Doug Jones gave fans an idea of what to expect from del Toro’s newest feature since Crimson Peak in a Collider interview where he revealed he’ll be playing “a fish man.”

“I’m a fish man that’s kind of a one-off. I’m an enigma, nobody knows where I came from; I’m the last of my species so I’m like a natural anomaly. And I’m being studied and tested in a U.S. government facility in 1963, so the Russian Cold War is on, the race for space is on, so there’s all that backdrop and that undercurrent.”

While the actor denies that The Shape of Water is a genre film or a sci-fi film, we definitely see a lot of those elements in his description. It’ll be interesting to see what that characterization means and how del Toro (who’s decided to refuse action and superhero movies in favor of “smaller, weirder ones“) might resist certain elements or conventions of those genres. Jones also talks a bit about Hawkins’ role, stating:

“There’s a love story that brews out of it, and that would be the cleaning lady played by Sally Hawkins. She comes and finds me, has sympathy on me, and then that’s the story that you’re really gonna follow with this whole backdrop.”

I was joking about the merman romance coming back into fashion when the merman Channing Tatum and Jillian Bell Splash remake came to light, but apparently it might be true?

Combined with the fact that the film’s been described as “Wall-E meets Splash” and has an amazing cast that includes Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Sally Hawkins, and more, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s as good as Jones promises it will be. “If this doesn’t end up with Guillermo back at the Oscars,” he says, “I will be surprised.”

(via Indiewire)

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