Well, I can tell you all I’ve seen Watchmen, but that’s about all I can tell you (stupid embargo). Luckily I was able to sit down to a one on one with Jeffrey Dean Morgan who was able to spill a bit of dirt about the film. I was so excited to speak with Jeffrey because he plays one of films first truly evil superheroes ever, The Comedian, who is unlike any other superhero you’ve ever seen before. He’s dangerous, resentful, angry, and of course, smiling the whole way through. The casting in this movie was phenomenal. Jeffrey was literally the perfect man for the role in every way, shape, and sound.
When meeting him, he wasn’t quite the physical presence that he was on screen, he had lost the stash and smoking gun, but had gained a giant skull ring and a black button down shirt. It was so nice to talk to an actor who was happy to be promoting his film and yet not afraid to joke around and be open about how he felt. Although however charismatic and charming he was, he definitely has13 a voice and a way about him that showed he certainly has a powerful and edgy side to him – perfect for the role.
Check out what Jeffrey Dean Morgan had to say about shooting his role as the Comedian in Zack Snyder‘s upcoming film, The Watchmen out March 6th…
What’s it like being one of the first truly evil superheroes?
JDM: It’s Awesome. I mean, it’s one of the reason’s I wanted to do this so bad. I’ve been kind of doing the same thing for the past couple of years, that people already know me from, and a sort of chance to play kind of the 180 from this good guy I’ve been doing. It was awesome. It was a hell of an opportunity. The Comedian is The Comedian for God sake, I loved it, it was a blast. It was challenging and hard some days, but the overall experience of playing an evil guy is pretty great.
The Comedian had to be smiling and happy a lot, through some really gruesome scenes. Was there anything extra you had to do to prepare?
JDM: He enjoyed what he did that’s for sure. Ultimately it comes down to acting. There are two schools of thought, or probably more. You can do the method thing, and kind of dive into it and take it home with you, or you can do your job and you try to go home and lead a normal life. I tried to do the latter. I tried to not let this stick with me. I also wanted to enjoy my time making this movie, because the experience itself as a whole was kind of so phenomenal to be part of it. I really did have a good time, even in the midst of putting a flamethrower on somebody. I won’t say that the attempted rape was fun, I draw my line there, but more often than not I really did have a smile on my face. I had a good time doing all the shit that I got to do.
Did the outfit help?
JDM: It did. It was an amazing transformation. You put that costume on, and I would pop the cigar in my mouth — I already had the sweet mustache — and a sort of transformation did occur. I got a lot less friendly, a lot more smart-assy, and a little meaner when I did all that.
At what point did you realize the magnitude of this film that you were a part of?
JDM: I mean I knew, I had kind of been on the internet and seen that it had this kind of rabid fan base that really cared about this project to the point where they hated us already for even attempting to make the movie. The day I think it kind of hit me, where I was like what the heck am I involved in, was when we were doing the Keene Riots. It was the most amazing set I’d ever seen, essentially it was the streets of New York, and there were probably a 150 taxicabs ripping through there. It was just this massive set and there I was jumping off of Archie into this crowd of like 500 hundred extras. Fires are burning seemingly out of control, and I’m thinking “I’m sure something’s going to go wrong, and I’m going to get incredibly hurt.” Just the scale of it I think, it hit me that I was involved in something well beyond anything I’d ever done, and well beyond anything I’ll probably ever do again. I can’t imagine ever doing anything like this again.
ME: They don’t come around everyday.
No, no, and what can you do now? What can I ever do as an actor? How do you go in this genre of film? I can’t. I just did the one. I did Watchmen! I can’t, there’s nothing more.
I mean this in the BEST possible way possible. I think the casting they did for this movie was really amazing, instead of going for the biggest names that are out, they really went for the actors that were best for the roles.
JDM: I think your right. I think that it would have taken away from Watchmen being Watchmen, say if Tom Cruise was in it. Because then you’re losing the essence of what Watchmen is if you put some big star in there. I think Zack mentioned exactly that to the studio, and the fact that they went for it was kind of mind blowing. I think that Zack pulled a hell of a cast together, I really do. I think everybody was so good in it. Yeah, I agree. Thank you, and I agree.
This film is really dark for a comic book movie, in fact it kind of breaks into a whole new genre. What do you think about the R-rating the film received?
JDM: In staying true to this novel, I don’t think that there was a choice. If you’re going to stay true to this, you have to go for it. I think that’s what Zack, that’s what everybody involved, that’s what I did. We went for it. It’s risky trying to open an R rated superhero movie. There’s no doubt about it. It’s never been done before. If it works, we’re geniuses (laughs). It’s the greatest decision in the world. We’ll see. This is unlike anything that’s ever been done before. It’s not Fantastic Four rated R. You know what I mean? It’s so kind of beyond that. It’s such a different movie. I can’t figure out how to describe this film and what kind of genre it is, because I don’t look at it as a superhero movie. It’s much dirtier, and grittier, and weirder, and more awesome than that. It’s kind of hard to nail this one down. If Warner Brothers does there job, and word of mouth does their job. I think we did ours, now it’s just a matter of seeing what happens. It’s out there in the world, and roll the dice man.
Did Zack Snyder pay close attention to detail? Did he constantly use the graphic novel as reference during the shoot?
JDM: The amount of preparation that went in, far before I was ever involved, from production, down to design, down to props was so, I mean these people were fans of the novel too. Zack always calls them like Easter eggs, because in any given frame there’s something in there that’s amazing. I remember walking one day, and I wasn’t working this day, I think I came in to talk to press, and we were at the prison. I was just walking through the prison, and they had just had some massive fire scene, they were throwing crap down in the prison. The stuff was floating down off the tiers, and I picked up one of the things. They were all newspaper articles from 1980-something that were burned! Someone had actually gone and made all these papers. The year was correct, the month was correct. Stories about Rorschach, or with Watchmen are in these newspapers, and that just amazed me. I’m like, there’s no way the camera’s going to pick up any of this, but yet somebody sat there and did all this friggin’ work.
I wish I could have been on set.
JDM: (Laughs) It was really cool. You could have been, everybody else was there.
In the end, there is the huge question of whether or not it’s right to destroy the world in order to save it. If you had to pick, which Watchmen in this movie is really fighting for humanity, which character do you side with?
JDM: In this movie? (Laughs) I’m like…fighting for humanity? So are we saying like Ozzy here? As the Comedian I would say not Ozzy. As a movie guy, and reading the book I think ultimately, is it not a bad idea? Is killing millions but saving the world, is that fighting for humanity? (Pauses) That’s a good question.
Well I guess that’s kind of the point of the movie! Everyone has to answer it for themselves. (Laughs)
JDM: I know, all right. Well shit I wasn’t ready for it. (Laughs)
With all the stuff that’s added into the movie after filming with special effects and whatnot, how do you keep the big picture in mind?
JDM: It’s hard. You lose track of it some days. That’s where Zack was so great. He always knew what was going on, and if we lost track because it’s hard. Your being very specific a lot of the time, your right. In doing a scene, your very specific about what’s going on, but you can lose track of like you said, the bigger picture. It’s very key, especially with something like this where everything’s kind of so complicated and entwined, that someone at least knows what the hell’s going on. But really we were so kind of well versed in the novel. I mean there would be times when I’d be like, “whoa, wait a minute, but in the next scene I’m doing this.”
There was this weird domino effect with this project; I’d never seen anything quite like it. From Zack, it just dribbled down to the rest of us and we all started, we became these fanboys, these groupies of this novel. Instead of feeling like we were shooting this massive, huge movie that no one had control over. It very much felt like we were shooting this $500,000 low budget, independent film that we’d all thrown in our own money. It had that feel, it had that kind of passion. Again, that will never happen again. I just can’t imagine that kind of feeling ever happening. It was a really special environment to be working in.
It sounds absolutely amazing.
JDM: Yeah, it was rockin.’
Did you see the film?
JDM: I did. I saw it a couple of weeks ago.
What did you think?
JDM: I think it knocked it out of the park.
Yeah, it’s kind of epic.
JDM: Would you mind telling some people that? (laughs)
Like I would MIND telling people about this movie! I just can’t wait to put up my review and see how well this movie does.
The movie is in theaters March 6th, check out the trailer below…