Billy Crudup and Matthew Goode Interview – WATCHMEN

     August 10, 2008





Okay…I know Comic-Con a little while ago. And yes…I know the interviews that I’ll be posting this week should’ve been online already. But what you may not know is…I got hurt at Comic-Con, as the back of Hall H collapsed and a beam holding the curtains fell and landed on my head. While it didn’t hit me at full force (or I’d be a lot worse off than I am) it did some damage and it’s taken me a number of days to get back on my feet. I won’t bore you with any more of the details except to say I’m finally starting to feel a lot more like myself so by the end of this week all the interviews that are left on my desktop will be posted.



Anyhow, the interview below is with Billy Crudup (Dr. Manhattan) and Matthew Goode (Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias) for the movie “Watchmen.”



For the two readers that don’t know about “Watchmen,” the movie is directed by the brilliant Zack Snyder and it’s based on the iconic graphic novel from 1986. Here’s the official synopsis:



A complex, multi-layered mystery adventure, “Watchmen” is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the “Doomsday Clock” – which charts the USA‘s tension with the Soviet Union – is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed-up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion – a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers – Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanity…but who is watching the watchmen?



Just to be clear…the interview below was done backstage at Comic-Con in roundtable form. Also, it was done right after they showed the “Watchmen” footage to 7,000 screaming fans…so needless to say…everyone was in great spirits. And with that, enjoy the interview….




Q: So Zach said that they put nipples on your suit as an homage to Joel Schumacher?



Matthew Goode: Yeah. Well you know what’s funny, is I never even noticed them. I swear to god. Maybe that’s my attention to detail showing up right there, but I never really noticed it I think. Possibly because I was always putting the fucking thing on like that and getting the thing on, it’s very hard to look down. So whatever Zack says is I’m sure absolutely bang on the money.



Q: And Billy I’m sure you’re sick of answering questions about–



Billy Crudup: Not at all man, that’s what I’m here to do.



Q: Talk about the burden of being the only guy in the motion capture suit and the goggles and–



Matthew Goode: I was going to say in the movie, what about me?



Billy Crudup: It was a burden for about the first day until I saw what these guys were in, and then they also had to go work out and watch what they were eating, blah di blah, blah,blah. I was as happy as a clam. I basically came in and put on my pajamas, stood on my apple box, tried to figure out Dr. Manhattan, so.



Q: How did Zack approach the material to get you involved?



Billy Crudup: They sent me the script, and you know, it’s pretty mundane I’m sorry to say, but I had never heard of it. My younger brother–I recognized the cover because my younger brother is a big graphic novel fan and I remember him having this in his apartment. But I was shocked by the script. Because they told me it was about, you know, superheroes, basically, and it was based on a graphic novel, and I had all of my superficial expectations for what a movie about a superhero or graphic novels would be like. Because I read a lot of those scripts. And this subverted everyone of those expectations from the first page and that made me so excited. So that was a pretty thrilling experience to have. And meeting Zack was uh, I just sat back and let him operate. Cuz he showed me every single frame of what he was going to try and do. His charisma is just infectious, you know.



Q: As far as being an omnipotent being…do you have to bring humanity to it or do you not?



Billy Crudup: Well, I think the graphic novel and the screenplay attempt to ask that question and to answer it at the same time, so the experience of doing it was the experience of asking that question every time. Does he have any more humanity left? Mostly he was an entity that was distracted by what for him were a higher order of problems. Which is how does the universe operate, or how do particles fundamentally–and he was being asked to be a dutiful man at the same time by his government, so he was trying to attend to both of those, while trying to carry on a relationship, and I think ultimately he discovered, through his own journey, that he was no longer as interested in people as he was in the world at large. And–or the universe, I should say. So I think my experience of doing it was the experience of asking that question each and every day.



Q: Here’s a typical ComicC-on question…were you told there’d be 7000 people in the room? Talk about what it was like behind the scenes, were you nervous, what was it like watching footage for the first time?



Matthew Goode: There’s a growing sense back stage, because you come in behind this sort of, behind the curtained off area, and you can just hear this wall of noise. You know–



Billy Crudup: 7000 people murmuring



Matthew Goode: 7000 people murmuring, and then 7000 people cheering, and you’re like oh my god. And, of course, there’s a huge sense of nervousness, cuz there’s also, you’re also, certainly for me, those horrible feelings of intellectual inferiority, when placed in front of 7000 people who know the fucking thing a lot better than you do. It’s true. And then it’s all dispelled when you see that clip. I don’t know. We’ve seen as little as you. And so I was watching just going–I mean what do you think? I thought it looked pretty fucking incredible. It made me start thinking this could, and probably will be, a seminal piece of work. And maybe that’s putting it a little too much, but I think it should be like the book itself. I think it could be that fucking good. I think he’s a new Ridley Scott. I think he’s brilliant.



Q: How is it as actors then to see that footage and think I’m going to be in something like this?



Matthew Goode: Well it’s a first time for me. I’m going to be in a movie that’s quite good. Um, no, amazing experience. but again, if I’m being cynical, which is what I always generally am, I think that there’s a difference between–obviously we’re ahead of the game here talking about what it’s like cutting together a trailer, which is effectively, although I do disservice to what we’ve just seen, really by just saying that, but we haven’t seen the scenes yet. We haven’t seen how people interact, we haven’t seen the full flesh of their characters. And obviously we saw them on set, cuz of the interaction that we had, but I want to see that world, I want to see if it all totally makes sense. Because sometimes things can get a little left flat. So let’s not start sucking each other off just yet.



Q: With what Adrian does at the end of the story, did you find yourself still liking who he was or did you not have to in order to play–



Matthew Goode: No, I do, I think he’s much–I mean you could say he’s much maligned. Everyone has their own arguments to point to about it, and quite rightly because there’re only grey areas, nothing is black and white with Adrian. And it’s like, one of the things I’ve always loved is the idea that public persona and a private persona and actually, the intense isolation that he has around him, I mean there’s only one real friend for him and that’s Dr. M, but he’s still, that’s someone he doesn’t really think twice about killing. Um, and that’s how he is. He’s just a very, very practical man. And there’s no great plan coming from anyone else about how we’re going to save the world, you know? And it’s cold and it’s real, and it’s an equation. It’s quite mathematic, you know? It’s millions to save billions. It’s black and white, in that sense, and that’s the only thing that’s black and white in his mind.




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