ComingSoon.net/Superhero Hype! talked to Patrick Wilson on the Vancouver set of Watchmen about playing Nite Owl II:
CS/SHH!: When we find Dan Dreiberg, he’s not in the best shape – so are you doing De Niro-style method acting? How are you translating it to the screen?
Patrick Wilson: I probably gained about 20 pounds since the summer. The first thing I said to Zack when we got together I asked him how much weight he wanted me to put on. What’s interesting is in the first couple of chapters [of the book] when he’s in his plain clothes, or even in the Owl suit, he’s pretty big. But by the time he takes his shirt off and he’s naked, he’s not a fat guy. There’s this perception that he’s huge and overweight. One of the first things Zack said is that’s obviously a metaphor for what’s going on in his life. Being more schlumpy and lost and all of those adjectives. Plus when you’re doing a movie like this, when you’re doing the early stuff, which there isn’t a lot, you want to be able to fit in the suit – basically what I’m saying is I didn’t want to go overboard. Nobody told me to, but I wanted to anyway. I’m a pretty lean guy anyway and I wanted to get a bit fuller.
CS/SHH!: Did you have to maintain a certain body mass for the suit makers?
Wilson: I talked to the guys who designed it, because by the time I did my first fitting in mid-July I was doing another movie where I was 185 which is what my weight is normally. So when we’re making the suit, I told them I was going to be 15 to 20 pounds heavier. It wasn’t anything that drastic. The weird thing has been trying to find this balance between the physical stuff that we do and the look of the character. What’s right? What fits? I think we’re doing a good job.
CS/SHH!: Can you talk about working with Jackie Earle Haley again since your days on “Little Children”?
Wilson: Well, we get along great. The first stuff we shot together was us breaking into Adrian’s office. It was the first time I was in the suit, so nobody had ever really seen me in the suit. So we sat there before the first take and Jackie’s putting his mask on and we’re like, “What are we doing?” It’s Brad Adamson and Ronald James McGorvey gone terribly wrong! [laughs] But it was great. Especially when you’re playing guys who have known each other for a really long time, it helped. He’s so great and such a warm person anyway. I found on this movie, not just between me and Jackie, everybody has this same focus. Everybody is in love with this material. The script, the graphic novel and so when that’s you’re common link, nothing else matters.
CS/SHH!: Dan is probably the most normal of the group, how do you fit yourself in with all of these eccentric characters?
Wilson: I can only read it from his perspective all along, so it’s hard for me to even look at everybody else’s arc. To me, he’s such a complex guy, he is very real. I think the Batman similarities are on purpose. Dr. Manhattan is the only one with any real super power. I found him to have so much heart. When you see Dan with his glasses, he’s a great guy. So all of the problems that are interesting as an actor: The sexual issues, the not knowing who you are, who am I? Now that I’m not fighting that battle? Who am I? So there’s a lot to latch onto and we’ve really just begun. That’s the stuff I’m looking forward to shooting. He goes through such a wide range of being introverted and lost. Trying to adjust to society. It’s a great journey. I don’t feel any loss of the flashiness.
CS/SHH!: Are you looking forward to piloting the Owl Ship?
Wilson: Oh yeah, have you seen it? It’s pretty great. This whole thing, every new set you walk onto, you’re just blown away.
CS/SHH!: How is the action going with the suit?
Wilson: It’s high class problems, as I like to say. What am I going to do, complain about the suit? It’s unbelievable. Mobility-wise, it’s okay. Tension is hard, it’s like a scuba suit gone haywire. You have the elasticity but it’s just like anything. You just get used to it.
CS/SHH!: Did you and Jackie work out your history on your own?
Wilson: Zack did one on ones or two on ones to go through all of our relationships and how people started. What we see, what we may have missed. So, we definitely went through that. You have to establish how long they were together. And did they really fight together? That’s the stuff you want to get to. And when they did, how much of it was at the same time? So going through that was fun, especially with me and Jackie because it’s such a history with those two. It’s a great relationship for these two complete opposite types of people to work together. To have an understanding of each other. So by the end it’s tragic, I think.
Watchmen opens in conventional and IMAX theaters on March 6.
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Source: Ryan Rotten