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The Doug Jones Experience on location in Budapest – Part I September 30, 2007

Posted by hellmistress in Filming, Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
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Saturday, 22nd September, 2007 – Day 79 of filming. 

It’s not easy being a webmaster, I can tell you. Especially when the subject of that very website, Mister Doug Jones, actor, singer and all-round nice guy, gets enthusiastic about something.

“Come to Budapest and spend a day or two on the Hellboy II set as my special guest,” Dougie had said. “Oh, and while you’re at it, you could guest-blog, couldn’t you? Now there’s an idea! And we could do pictures!!! Oh, oh, and I could introduce you to everyone!! (And so on and so forth …)”

See what I mean? Work, work, work …

And so it was that I found myself heading out of Budapest Airport into gorgeous September sunshine to discover what Doug had described in a voicemail message on my cell-phone as a ‘tall, funny-looking fellow’ standing waiting for me with my co-conspirator and set-visitor Pat Paone, webmaster of The Perlman Pages. Dougie had come to meet us, bless him, armed with a lovely handwritten sign with ‘Pat (little red heart) Helen’ on it and a beautiful sunflower each. Thus ensued some disgracefully serious Dougie-huggage, and then we headed into the beautiful city (cities?) of Budapest.

 

Ahhhh … Budapest. The two ancient cities of Buda and Pest, joined at the hip by the endless flow of the great river Danube and garlanded with majestic bridges and grand buildings. And one of the grandest is the Boscolo New York Palace Hotel, not far from Ertszebet Bridge and the river itself and a temporary home for Doug as he films Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

 

After Doug got us settled in our hotel close by, he whirled us off to the Boscolo for lunch in the New York Café restaurant. Now this place is seriously awesome. Built in the Italian Renaissance style in 1894, it is all pure opulence – gold leaf, carved plasterwork and painted ceilings, and as we went in through the elegant doors my eyes were drawn to this fellow at the entrance.

 

 

There are, in fact, sixteen of them – the Ashmodai. Considering Doug’s role as ‘El Fauno’ in Pan’s Labyrinth, I had to chortle to myself. There just has to be a reason for it – perhaps Guillermo del Toro’s idea of fun? There’s a terrific bronze statue of a faun across the road, too. Hmmm … curiouser and curiouser …

 

After lunch (Prawn Caesar Salad to die for!) Doug gave us the tour and introduced us to some of the wonderful staff who make his stay so far away from home a bit easier. So many lovely young people with such charming smiles, and Doug is welcomed with hugs wherever he goes. The hotel itself is positively decadent in the best possible way – Doug’s suite is bigger than my house, for goodness sake, and he’s right – the bathroom is big enough to bowl in.

 

After repairing to our hotel for an afternoon snooze, Pat and I joined Doug later for dinner at a superb river-boat restaurant down on the Danube, ‘Spoon,’ where we sat and gorged ourselves (and yes, tomato salad to die for!), gazed out at the beautiful castle over the river, now lit up like a Christmas tree in the clear night, and chatted about how things are going on the set of the film.

 

Dougie gave us a wry grin and rubbed his fingers over his very short-cropped hair – short, because it helps him stay cool and a little more comfortable under the makeup.

 

“It’s long, it’s tough, I’m exhausted, and I’ve never worked so hard in my life … and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” he added with a chuckle. Six-day weeks, regular 15 to 16 hour days and difficult working conditions, especially earlier on in the summer with temperatures hitting 42 degrees Celsius (That’s apparently 108 Fahrenheit). Brutal stuff. But everyone is in good spirits and the script is delicious – Dougie’s words.

 

By the time we head home to our hotel for the evening, plans are made for our first day on set the following Monday. “Wrap up warm,” Doug warns. “You’ll need your hat and gloves.” Then he gives a conspiratorial wink and grin. “You’re going to love the set!”

 

But that’s another story. Tomorrow, it’s brunch at the Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal. See? I told you it was a hard life, didn’t I?

 

So, it’s Webmaster Helen signing off until tomorrow. Toodle Pip and Cheery Bye for now, dear hearts!

 

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Comments»

1. Katie - October 1, 2007

How fun! I’ve been looking forward to this report for almost a week now. =]

2. Laura - October 1, 2007

More more more!!Pics pics pics! I’m so curious to know everything aboout your journey in Hungary!

3. Gary - October 2, 2007

Wow Helen …thanks for the tour…it sounds delightful!

4. David - October 2, 2007

Helen,

where did they put you up in? Hilton? Corinthia?

5. hellmistress - October 2, 2007

Neither – Pat and I inhabited a sweet little 3-star hotel around the corner from the Boscolo – the Ibis. Nice.Very comfy and central.

6. David - October 8, 2007

That’s actually good value for money! Not to mention the Burger Kind is pretty handy too 😉


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