So what's it like letting your computer-generated bits all hang out in front of millions? We asked Billy Crudup himself what it was like playing the big blue character who feels no shame.
When we met Billy Crudrup at the Watchmen junket, all anybody wanted to ask him about was his wang. Kind of makes you feel sad because his performance was really incredible. But thankfully he got a little into his character as well.
What was it like working with such a lack of costume?
It was just a more elaborate form of what we do all the time, which is wear clothes that aren't ours. And dress up and pretend to be other people. It was kind of exotic to be a lighting instrument for the other actors, and to be without the normal things that help you to kind of get into character, [such as] clothing, for one. But it was pretty fun.
How accurate is the blue you to the real you?
Well beyond the blue, it's a... No, it's diminished to make it realistic. They did a laser scan and they did really high-resolution photography of my face, to the pore. It's incredible what they're able to capture.
Are all the close ups of you, are they all computer generated or is there some point where that's your face?
No, it's all computer generated, but again, to say it's computer generated it blurs the line. Because there is a high definition version of me on some hard drive that is exactly my face that I was manipulating with my real face with all the dots, so anytime I moved a face muscle, it's captured there. So I'm moving the actual puppet of me. It's an exact version of me.
[Editor's note: this line of questioning is not from the same conversation, but demonstrates the obsession over Crudup's bits]
OK back to naked blue you. From the neck down, pretty good physique how much working out did you do? Is that very accurate too?
You did do some training though right?
All my character does is this [raises arm].
And the only thing I've got to ask is already I don't know if you read the paper, but the movie is already being called Billy Crudup's big blue penis movie.
It's a good title catchy, may turn some people off but it will draw some people in.
[Interrupts] Obviously it's very stylized but you don't see wangs like that...
This is the question?
Waving around in a lot movies. How do you feel personally about that?
How do I feel about it? I accepted the part, knowing that it would be like that. It was okay with me. Everything that you do as an actor is exposure in some way or another. This material, I'm not going to say it is me or it isn't me, or what's blue. You have to accept that there is a kind of vulnerability that you make yourself open to as an actor and some of it is silly old I-saw-his-butt-crack vulnerability. That's part of the deal. They also paid me.
What attracted you to the character?
Within the first page and a half, it had passed all my expectations of what a studio comic book movie was capable of. I found that so exciting. You feel like you have things figured out in your narrow scope, so to discover a culture in the comic book genre that's operating with a similar philosophy that you've been operating in a different culture, it's such an exciting and enlightening feeling that I was totally inspired by it. It's like discovering a new musician that's been playing the kind of music that you want to hear, who's been popular, but in a different kind of genre than you listen to but that's speaking to you in the same kind of way. It was revelatory to me. In terms of Dr. Manhattan, I just couldn't get my head around him. I couldn't get my head around how to play him. I couldn't get an idea of what his motivations could possibly be. So that was really interesting to me. That's usually a good sign to me, and they wanted me to do it.
You had to be very still in a lot of scenes what was that like?
When you can make the world revolve around you, you don't put a lot of energy... It was really difficult because you want to give the audience some idea of what's happening. However, again you go back to the material. That was the case with Dr. Manhattan, he's sort of inscrutable. You can't figure him out. So I depended upon the material of getting that part of it right.
Were you mad that Laurie stole your final line from the book?
Naw, I was glad to give her some more screen time.