Lov­ing the alien

DOUG JONES is made up to be play­ing star Trek: dis­cov­ery’s Lieu­tenant saru

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YOU PROB­A­BLY WOULDN’T recog­nise Doug Jones if you passed him in the street. The 57-year-old from In­di­ana has acted for three decades, but his fea­tures are masked by pros­thet­ics in most of his big­gest roles – from the Sil­ver Surfer in Fan­tas­tic 4: Rise of the Sil­ver Surfer to Cochise in post-apoca­lyp­tic drama Fall­ing Skies.

That theme con­tin­ues in Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery, cur­rently show­ing on Net­flix, which sees Jones play Lieu­tenant Saru, the first Kelpien to join Starfleet. Like all Kelpi­ens, Saru has hooves in­stead of feet, stands 6ft 8in tall, and can sense ap­proach­ing dan­ger.

‘The Kelpi­ens come from a planet where it’s a preda­tor-or-prey sit­u­a­tion.

And my peo­ple are the prey. So we are born into a fear­ful sit­u­a­tion. We’re al­ways pro­tect­ing our­selves. That sounds like a vic­tim but, ac­tu­ally, when you are born into that, you have to de­velop sur­vival skills, so we’re ac­tu­ally bad-ass fight­ers.’

COS­TUME DRAMA

This is the first time Kelpi­ens have fea­tured in the Star Trek uni­verse, and Jones – who first trained as a con­tor­tion­ist – was closely in­volved in the look and move­ment of his char­ac­ter. De­spite spend­ing two hours in make-up each day to trans­form into Saru, he reck­ons he’s had far greater or­deals.

‘To turn into an alien in two hours is mer­ci­fully short,’ he says. ‘In Hell­boy and Pan’s Labyrinth, when I had to be trans­formed from head to toe, those were fiveto-seven-hour pro­ce­dures.’

When it came to his Starfleet uni­form, one fit­ting re­volved around how Jones’ back­side looked on screen. ‘I have a flat ass and I begged them not to use pad­ding,’ he laughs. ‘It’s been padded for so many crea­tures.

But I ar­gued it would serve the char­ac­ter bet­ter if they left me with the alien ass I was born with. They fi­nally said, “You’re right.” So it’s my own ass in the show!’

DOUG JONES AND, ABOVE, AS STAR TREK’S SARU

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