You can't have Watchmen with Doctor Manhattan and while the HBO series incorporated no shortage of references to the all-powerful character, last week's penultimate episode of Watchmen delivered the big blue god-like character himself. In a stunning twist it was revealed that Angela Abar's husband Cal was actually Doctor Manhattan. The character soon shed his human disguise which meant a lot of blue makeup. Given that the iconic character is frequently nude, that meant blue makeup everywhere for actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II -- and it was a process that he said required him to just get over himself.
Speaking with Variety, Abdul-Mateen explained that while the makeup initially took three hours to turn him entirely blue, by the time they got to the end of things he had managed to trim off 30 minutes simply by abandoning any notions of personal space.
"The shortcut is to get over any ideas, any notions of personal space," Abdul-Mateen said. "Just get over yourself and just go."
While that keep-it-cool approach certainly appears to have helped him with the lengthy process of transforming into the blue-skinned Doctor Manhattan, Abdul-Mateen explained to EW last week that when it came to finding out about the character twist and that he would, in fact, be playing Doctor Manhattan, his actual reaction was a bit less chill and philosophical.
"I went into it not knowing I was playing Doctor Manhattan," Abdul-Mateen said. "I went into it knowing I was playing Cal. He did say it would be a good role and worthwhile, so I thought maybe Cal would go on some type of adventure, but I never imagined it turning into something like this."
"Somewhere between the second and third episodes, I had another conversation with him where he wanted to talk to me more about Cal's journey and I came to his office and sat down on the couch," he continued. "I think his words were, 'Cal is Doctor Manhattan.' We had a long conversation about what that meant. I remember being on the couch and keeping it cool."
He added, "He was very relaxed and matter of fact and that’s how I was receiving the information on the outside. But on the inside, I was tearing up the room, I was all over the place. I couldn’t believe that I was going to be the person embodying Dr. Manhattan. I said, 'I guess I got to get in shape.'"
The season finale of Watchmen airs Sunday, December 15th, at 9/8c on HBO.