Watchmen: Tim Blake Nelson on tone, character, and why he signed up

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Tim Blake Nelson is set to play a brand new character by the name of Looking Glass in the Watchmen TV series, which has Lost‘s Damon Lindelof as its showrunner. In a new interview, he’s been chatting about the project.

The actor, who is no stranger to comic book adaptations with both Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk on his CV, said this to Collider about this route into the Watchmen project and how his role grew over time:

“I talked to [Lindelof] on the phone, and it was an evolving process for Watchmen, which in part is what makes Damon so interesting. He, like the Coens, is very much in control, but he also improvises, to a degree, with what he has. And so, I was approached for Watchmen by his (producing) partner, Tom Spezialy. I read it and I read my character, and I found him interesting, but one doesn’t want to leap into television without knowing where a character is headed. And Damon, frankly, said, “Well, I’m not sure about this guy and whether there’s going to be enough for you, to where you would want to play this role. I’m not sure that having you in this role would be gesturally right, in terms of the casting, with what I have in mind for him. You may be, in a sense, too big of a gun to shoot a fly.” But then, he started thinking about it and he changed his take on the role. He said, “You know what, I really would like you to be a part of this. Here’s how I wanna enlarge the role. If you’ll trust me, then I’d really like you to come on board.” What he had to say was certainly enough, but more importantly, the pilot script and what it seemed like he wanted to address with the show, which is way beyond your run of the mill comic adaptation, really intrigued me.”

He also described the project’s tone as “absolutely right” and noted that he hasn’t “encountered a false note” during his work on the show.

We’ll keep you updated with more news from HBO’s Watchmen series as we hear it.