Izumi Hasegawa: Billy, how did they shoot you in Watchmen? Did you have to wear a suit?
Billy Crudup: I did, exactly -- kind of elaborate pajamas. There were two things they were trying to accomplish. One was motion capture and the other was to try to light the other characters with the blue light that Dr. Manhattan is supposed to emanate. So I had a suit that had a bunch of blue lights on it and a battery pack. It was pretty hot. They were attempting to capture all the nuance of a performance too -- not that there was really anything to capture, but they were going to try to capture it if it was there, mistakenly. The way they did that was with a bunch of dots on my face, and then they shot it with high-definition cameras and then sent it to leprechauns somewhere. I have no idea what happens after that.
IH: How do they actually track you?
IH: But tracking your face, is that your face in the CGI?
BC: Well, what did you think of the performance? Then I'll tell you.
BC: Then it was me. I have another answer prepared if you didn't like it. There [were] about 140 dots on my face, and each of those dots corresponded to the exact replica of me that was made in the computer that was Dr. Manhattan. The way that they made that replica was with high-definition photographs and a laser scan of my face. It's a computer version of my face that's built into that Dr. Manhattan. Basically, I was just moving the puppet version of me with those dots. It's, for better or worse, my performance.
IH: Did you have the six-pack muscles?
BC: Take a gander, my lady. As you can see, the 6'4", 240-pound ripped version was not me. I think that guy had like 48 shoulders. I've trimmed down since then. You can't play that role for everything.
IH: Did you fall into the Watchmen era when you were a kid?
BC: I was, certainly, had I been interested in graphic novels or comic books. I was not into them, but it is my era. It came out in '85. I was in high school at that time, but I was not into graphic novels.
IH: It's not a lifelong dream?
BC: No. I mean, to act in something good, that is for sure. And to talk to you people, for sure.
IH: What's your interpretation of your character? How did you come to your vocal performance?
BC: The good part was, again, it's totally my performance so it is me moving that puppet. The problem is, though, that the body is so vastly different -- a body like that would resonate different than a body like mine. So the placement of the voice was a little bit harder to find, and I think when we first saw it, or when I first saw parts of it during ADR (automatic dialogue replacement; dubbing), where you're kind of looping over stuff, I was like, "We need to tweak it a little bit and maybe change the placement of it a little bit." Some of it was trial and error, but in terms of the philosophy behind the voice, Zack [Snyder] had some really great ideas about how someone with that kind of ability would try to calm the people around him with not too intimidating a voice, so we tried to find a placement that was not too Greek god-like.
IH: When you saw the final film, how was it?
BC: I am not the most objective viewer of my own work, so I have different thoughts about my work, but I was very pleased with the way the whole thing came together.