Our chance to talk to the cast and crew of Watchmen was divided up into several sessions, of which we posted the Zack and Debbie Snyder part earlier this week. Here are some highlights from our shared time with the cast…
Carla Gugino – Sally Jupiter/Silk SpectreMalin Akerman – Laurie Jupiter/Silk Spectre IIPatrick Wilson – Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl
On Watchmen being surely be one of the most Googled phrases…
Carla Gugino We sorta intentionally avoided most of that, because it is so great to see those forums and listen to everyone’s opinions, but being involved in it, you can start to take those things personally – ‘no, wait a minute, there is a reason it’s like that!’ [big laugh] And you want to get involved. But it is nice that there is this sort of fever, because people have been waiting for so long for this movie…
On the sex scene…
Patrick Wilson I have never seen superheroes do that! Thank god! You always sort of see maybe the kissing, or whatever, and then cut away – and then sheets in the morning. And if you’re going to take all of these characters to the extreme, and the comic does that, then you have to do that with the violence and you have to do that with the sex… to see something you’ve never seen. And actually, it was so specific in the way that Zack wanted to shoot it in establishing their fetish and establishing their own sense of sexuality…
On the superheroes they were obsessed with as kids…Carla Gugino I was obsessed with Charlie’s Angels and Bewitched!
Patrick Wilson Yeah, I loved the Lone Ranger… and the Six Million Dollar Man… but yeah, and my only real awareness to comics was through the Adam West Batman tv show and I remember going to college and Frank Gorshin who was the Riddler in the original Batman series was from my alma mater and I remember finding his name on the back wall – and I was like ‘look! Frank Gorshin went here!’ and people didn’t really know who he was, but the faithful did, because I used to love that series growing up.
Malin Akerman I watched Superman, and I didn’t want to be Superman, I wanted to be Lois Lane.
Patrick Wilson Me too!
Malin Akerman Really? You’re the one that took my costume home!
About all graphic novels becoming ‘legitimate art’…
Patrick Wilson What’s funny is, when you look back and you talk about, and I have read this so I don’t think I am terribly misquoting, but when they submitted it as a 12 issue series and probably somebody in marketing said ‘let’s put it all together and call it a graphic novel!’, and it became this whole thing, so it all of a sudden made it sound fancier… but, you know, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons wrote comics, so, maybe to the average person it might make it sound a little more ‘wow, well, if it’s a graphic novel, it must be fancy, and dark!’… But it certainly did pave the way for a lot of other graphic novels, especially if you look at now… I don’t think that things like the ‘origins’ of characters, like with Wolverine Origins, where everybody wants to get back to the dark side, and figure where all these characters came from… that all happened after Watchmen. That is fascinating, when you see the doors that it opened for other comics.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan – Edward Blake/The ComedianJackie Earl Haley – Walter Kovacs/Rorschach
So who was best at all the action scenes?Jackie Earl Haley I think it was Billy. [points into the air] Take that, fuckers!
On the Comedian…Jeffrey Dean Morgan At first glance, the Comedian is an asshole, and there’s nothing redeeming about this guy, and you should just absolutely hate him. And, every time I read the book before we started work on filming, I was fascinated by how I didn’t hate him, and almost how I almost kinda sympathised with him. And there was a couple of moments that I really keyed into that kinda showed this human side of this monster… Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons wrote this book, and the characters are so complex and layered, certainly unlike anything seen in this genre. So as actors, to be a part of this and work with Zack on the ‘unfilmable’ graphic novel not only was a scary proposition but was a challenging one, and a fun one.
“What do you think you, as a 12 year old, would have thought about your character in this film?”
Jeffrey Dean MorganI think I as a 12 year old would have been scared shitless by the Comedian but, I would have loved to have dressed up as him at Halloween.
“Is he redeemed by his lonesome fate at the start of the film?”Jeffrey Dean Morgan I think Blake stepped over an edge a long time ago. I think a key moment in the timeline of the Comedian’s life is the minute he tries to rape Sally Jupiter… he crosses a line, and he knows it. And hence, the pain. I feel in a way he deserves his fate, and he knows it. There’s no redeeming what he’d done.
On violence in the movie…Jackie Earl Haley You see people just get shot left and right and things blow up all over the place in cinema and it cracks me up. I mean, is it dark? Is it graphic? It’s definitely pretty graphic. I think, again, it’s the beauty of fully-realised characters. There’s a resonance. To me, this is a super-hero flick. It’s got that hyper-reality going for it. It’s just smarter. It’s like the book did in ’86, it’s taking an extra, heaping dose of reality and fusing it with that, so it resonates on a deeper level. It’s more thought provoking. And when you care, action starts to mean more. And when it means more it hits home in a different kind of way.
Matthew Goode – Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias
‘Where you all very conscious when you were doing it that there will be fanboys writing doctoral theses on this for years to come?’
Matthew Goode Yeah! It was very gratifying that my brother phoned me up on the first day on set and said ‘I’ve just been on the web, and nobody wants you to be in the film, and they’re very worried you’re going to ruin it!’ And I thought ‘Ok! Thanks very much, Jim, I’ll speak to you in six months.’
Watchmen opens in the UK march 6th.