Where the Comedian goes, murder and mayhem follow close behind. So it's only right that the actor portraying this masked sadist, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, almost set himself and the entire Watchmen set ablaze.
We talked to Morgan about his work on Watchmen, and here's what he had to say.
How did you like The Comedian's costume?
It was hard to move in, it was hard to get into, [and] it was hard to get out of. But that being said, when I got in it and stuck a cigar in my mouth... yeah... I wanted to kill people right away.
Did you have previous experience with weapons?
I got to go to the firing range quite a few times. It was a blast. I loved that part of it... There was a flame thrower range in the warehouse, that was a trip... The day that I did the scene where I have to keep the flame on this guy for ten seconds, do a ten count in your head, which is an exceedingly long time to pointing a flame thrower at some guy who has a little gel on him. You're just nailing him with these flames, and I kept pulling up early. I thought I'm going to really hurt this guy and I can't deal with that. And Zack's like, "Do it again man, and you're enjoying this too."
I kept having to redo it because I was pulled up. And I'm smiling and having my little moment but, so finally the last time I did it, I held it on this guy, but in the mean time I'd done it so many times that the rice paddy had been covered with gasoline from shooting this thing. So I'm burning this guy up and I do it and I'm like, "yeah you fucking bastard," and I look down and there's flames coming at me, and it comes right up my leg and there's no one near me. I'm in the middle of a rice paddy. And I look up and I see Zack and his eyes are this big [makes big circles over his eyes] and all I can think is "I can't ruin the costume."
The guys did so much work on the costume and I thought I'm just going to have to put it out myself. It was a nightmare [laughs]. They're imperfect heroes. I kept the cigar lit the whole time, I just sucking on that.
Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach) interrupts:
Rorschach would have been like "27, 28..." [Laughs]
Was it difficult for you taking on the role of this character? Did you go method with it a little?
I'm not a method actor. I always take kind of pride in the fact that when it's time to turn it on, you turn it on, and when it's time to go home at night, you know walk your dog and enjoy your life. But there are a couple of things that I do - that The Comedian does - that certainly wasn't easy to walk away from. They certainly stuck with me. There were a couple sleepless nights. Filming this was a lot harder than I ever anticipated when I first got the role.
It was a lot harder, and Jack [Earle Haley] said something earlier about being isolated. I did the same. We both sort of isolated ourselves from everybody while we were shooting this. It seemed to make more sense in the process. It was a long shoot. It was a great shoot and I loved it, and I loved playing this guy, but the day I got to go home and be rid of him, was not bad. I was tired.
Watchmen will be in theaters on March 6.