When people talk about the nudity in Watchmen, they are generally going to talk about the “big blue wang” of Dr. Manhattan. But let’s not forget that Patrick Wilson not only has to get naked as well, but he had to put on weight first to properly play Dan Dreiberg, aka Nite Owl, a retired super-hero who has let himself get soft and flabby. Here, he gives us some insight on why he agreed to take it as far as it needed to go.
On the sex scene: Everything starts with the script. There were a couple of panels in the comic that demanded nudity. It’s not only beautiful and classy and visually interesting, but it’s also funny and it’s a great release – ha ha ha, pun intended. But that’s sort of the point of it all. I sat there with my wife, and we were both sort of astonished and laughing, and she literally high-fived me at the end of the scene. [laughter] It was so important for those characters, and honestly, I swear to you, I felt like you were cheering “thank god they did it!” And you never see that in this type of movie. It’s not just the nudity. Without being presumptuous about it, the whole point of this comic when it came out was going as far as you can in that genre. If it goes that far with violence, then it should go that far with the love scenes and that far with the language and that far with the humor. That’s the point.
On the costume: The cape alone weighed about ten pounds. But look, anybody who complains about being in a movie like this because of the costumes deserves a good spanking. It’s pretty awesome. But the first day I was in the suit, I was in it all the way, mask down, goggles on for hours and I said “wow, this is really tough.” Then, by the end of it, you start to figure out how to structure getting into it so you were the most comfortable. It also just sucks the life out of you. They’re very constricting.
On the film’s politics: Somebody said something to me the other day, and they were very politically minded and they said “Gee, I don’t know, is this a Bush movie or a Clinton movie or an Obama movie?” That’s what I love, that it inspires that. You can sit back and enjoy the movie and eat your popcorn and go “Man, that was awesome!” or you can talk about the lasting effects. It’s a lot to say. It really asks the question “how far would you go to protect the peace?” You can’t help, at least I can’t, going back to “you’re either with us or against us.” You could talk about that for hours.