Here’s another interview from this year’s Comic Con in San Diego. This time it’s with Carla Gugino, who plays Sally Jupier aka the first Silk Spectre, Malin Akerman who plays Laurie Juspeczyk akak the second Silk Spectre, and Patrick Wilson who plays Dan Dreiberg aka the second Nite Owl.
What was it like playing superheroes?
Gugino: And these aren't your typical superheroes either.
Wilson: The easy answer is that it was great. I wasn't that familiar with the comic but I have a friend who has been my best friend for 20 years, and every Wednesday he has gone out and bought new comics ever since I have known him, when we were 18. I'll use his quote. I remember after I said, “I think I’m going to do it.” He said, “If you are ever to do a comic book movie, this is the one to do.” So I feel like that's sort of the answer to what’s it like: if you're ever going to do it, this is the one.
Gugino: It's been amazing to play such complex, intricate, interesting characters that happen to be either superheroes or crime fighters. It's almost like an amazing perk to the job. Because the characters in and of themselves, it’s almost a manifestation of what's going inside of them and the search that they’re all on. That’s also great because so often the outside visual is really alluring and you’re like, “How cool to be in a costume!” and it is all those things. To learn how to kick ass, all that, but it's not incidental to the character, of course. It’s integral to the characters. But it is definitely a perk of the job.
Akerman: It doesn't feel like they’re superheroes. It feels like they’re…
Gugino: They’re very human.
Akerman: Once you get into the characters they’re just very human, and once you get into those costumes you become these superheroes for the night, but you still feel like a human being who has abilities to... if you studied karate for your whole life, you'd be great. It’s just one of those things where you think at first “Wow, superhero film!” and then you get into it and think “Wow, these are just really ‘real people.'” So it was even more interesting because you can relate so much more to that than someone who was born with a super power which none of us are. Or maybe you are Patrick. I won’t speak for everyone.
Carla, one of the most controversial things for fans in the book is the relationship Sally has with The Comedian.
The brutality with how it begins, but at the end she has a fondness for him. I’m curious of your take on it.
Gugino: It was a real fascinating thing, and that's what I love about human beings and what I love about acting - you get to get inside somebody else's mind and somebody else’s experience. We are a complicated people on this planet. There is no black and white, everything is grey, we’re all capable of everything. I talked to Zack the very first time we sat down and I said, I find this fascinating and I love the fact that this is so… You expect that she should hate him. And instead she has a real soft spot for him, and in a way he is for sure the love of her life, and if you’re going to use terms like soul mate, there’s some kind of deeper connection. And something beautiful created from that. There are a lot of elements to it. And we were talking about it because the rape in the graphic novel is really, really…
[Wilson and Akerman start laughing]
Gugino: What’s going on?
We’re just talking about rape.
Gugino: I know! I say rape, they giggle.
Akerman: You said something fantastic was created and he said, “Well…
Gugino: Oh yeah. But the rape was so brutal, and Zack said, “Are you gonna be okay with the fact that I want this to be really brutal? It's not sexy, it's awful.” And I said yes, because it has to be that, that's intrinsic to the nature [of it]. But the fact that it’s the case also sheds more light on the fact that she’s okay with him really, later. We both loved that dichotomy, and obviously Alan Moore created that. But yeah, it was a really interesting thing to play.
Patrick, can you talk about why the Nite Owl seems like a guy you feel sorry for. He's seems to be the one guy who everyone wants to do well. And he seems like a sad individual.
Wilson: Yeah. He’s awesome. I love him. I miss him. I do. I think I've talked about this earlier, but I think there’s this light with him. I think you pull for him because you know he wants to do the right thing. You see him trying to find his way. It's not so much that he's sad - that's sort of too easy to play, that's sort of a primary color. His struggle… the notes in the Absolute Edition sort of likens it to a soldier coming back and not feeling part of society. Well there you go. That's something I can dig into. [He's] not understanding where he fits. The misfit in all of us, in some respect we all have that. He just really longs for that. I feel like he was really cut short. I feel like he probably could have enjoyed a great career and I think you see him in that [Crimebusters] meeting — he really wanted to get this group together and it just doesn't work. I think he's genuinely upset and pissed off when The Comedian burns the map. Hey, he partners with Rorschach. It's this incredibly complicated relationship he’s got with Rorschach, and then when Laurie comes back into the picture and you feel like there was some kernel of something years ago but it was never explored because Dan was probably just terrible at talking… you just… you wanted him to do good in so many aspects of his life. In his personal life, and they’re all explored in the movie… his sexual life. I know we always snicker about that, but what is more perfect? It’s the greatest metaphor ever. He can’t get it up.
Except when he's in costume.
Wilson: That’s the thing. It’s all snicker, snicker, very funny, but when you think about when we actually do consummate it, the way that we shot that... I’m anxious to see that, I think we both are. It’s always sort of bizarre filming that stuff, but Zack’s image of how he wanted to tell that story, of what sex and sexuality meant to these people. When it comes to fruition, what we see is just so spot on. There are just so many levels to the guy. Everybody’s got that guy where you’re like, “Come on, man!”
Akerman: There’s just so many levels, there’s just so much to say. You can’t put anything in a nutshell.
Watchmen is easily considered one of the best comics that was ever written if not the best. But it’s also very complicated comic book story. Was there ever a moment when you guys were looking at the script thinking, “How the hell are we gonna put all this on screen?”
Gugino: A lot of moments. I really do think, as an actor, if I know exactly how to play a role? Somebody else should play it. I do feel that in all creative endeavors, if you're doing something worthwhile and you’re doing something that’s a challenge, it should feel a little bit like you don’t know what you’re doing. But you're doing everything to try to find that. Part of that is the process. Zack is the most well-researched… his storyboards are phenomenonal, and yet still he would say “Okay. I have a new idea.” It was a constant process of discovery and uncovering. That's what's so great is that so often as actors, certainly in films; theater’s a bit different… I think in a lot of comic book movies, now they are getting better and deeper and stronger. It’s a really exciting time for these kinds of movies. But often times you feel like, “How can I make something human that might be slightly one dimensional?” In this case it's actually “How can I come up to the plate and fill in all of this?” Because it’s so dimensional.
Malin, can you talk about Laurie's romantic dilemma?
Akerman: You know, I never understood why she left Dr. Manhattan. I mean he can multiply himself.
Wilson: Dude, hello.
Gugino: That’s why!
Akerman: Oh right, that’s why! We’ve all been teenagers, we’ve all been young. There's a saying that every seven years in life we change, there’s a major change. She met Dr. Manhattan at such a young age, she was intrigued, he was exciting. He was a blue man who was naked, I mean, why wouldn’t you be excited? But in all seriousness, she didn't have her own life yet, she wasn't her own person. She was forced by her mother to become what she is. She was with this group of people, this tantalizing blue man she’s approached by, so when she's starting to find her footing in life I think she also realizes that Dr. Manhattan obviously isn’t for her and the fact that he’s turning into more of a molecule than a person also shoves her away. I think when she finally finds Dan she starts to find bits of herself and finds that human quality. It's a really beautiful relationship that starts to build — It kind of made us go, “Aww!” It’s sweet and real and beautiful and what we all sort of wish for.
Have you tried wrapping your head around what it would be like to sleep with Dr. Manhattan?
Akerman: Oh, I have tried wrapping my head around it. I think it would be exciting!
Akerman: I mean, you can’t really wrap your head around that, can you?
7.31.08 Source: WatchmenComicMovie.com
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