Are there Christians working in Hollywood? Of course, and I’m not just talking about Kirk Cameron. The Imaginarium, a unique component of the Cornerstone experience that focuses on film and pop culture, hosted actor Doug Jones tonight.
Most moviegoers will be familiar with Doug’s work from his role as Abe Sapien in the Hellboy movies and as The Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. He is also known as Pan in Pan’s Labryinth as well as for playing characters on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the zombie in Hocus Pocus with Bette Midler. Most of his characters have a common element of requiring heavy makeup.
In addition to being a talented actor, Doug is also known and respected in Hollywood for his Christian faith, a faith that is evident guides his actions and career as a Hollywood actor. Some may find it odd that he plays so many monsters. Wouldn’t that conflict with his faith? According to Doug, we are all monsters at times due to the problem of sin in our lives. If the entire movie takes us to a positive place in the end, that is a good thing.
I found it interesting when Doug discussed what guides his decision in choosing to work on a film. He first decides if he likes the script; does it make him laugh or cry? What is the director’s purpose? He has passed on some projects that do conflict with his faith (for instance he won’t do any horror film that follows the formula of half naked teenagers having sex and doing drugs and then they get killed; Doug finds that boring and offensive.) He has also had an influence on directors and their vision for a film. He was offered one film that portrayed Christians in a bad light. When he expressed to the director that this film was going to alienate the Christian audience as well as being something that creatively had been done to death, the director rewrote the film. Another film, Legion, showed God as the enemy destroying the world. When Doug realized that this was essentially a modern retelling of the flood story from the Bible, this gave him a unique opportunity to share his faith and Christian worldview on a national level.
Doug and his wife put their faith into action by intentionally mentoring young, up and coming actors helping them, giving them a home to spend Christmas in, and generally being there for them.
To say that all of us at The Imaginarium were impressed by Doug would be an understatement. Doug took time to sign anything we had: dvds, pictures, collectibles. I think everyone there received one of his famous Dougie hugs and the encouragment to show BIG LOVE to those around us. Following this, we were able to watch two short films Doug starred in; the most striking of the two was Butterfly Circus, a film with the message of redemption and hope for the hopeless. Butterfly Circus will soon be made into a full length feature starring Doug. Look for it in your local theater.
The sillery (yes, sillery, you have to have been there) is continuing on into the night with a screening of Hellboy 2. Cornerstone has always been about more than the music. If you haven’t made it past the stages, venture out into the outskirts of the festival. You may just find something you had no idea existed here.