To call Adrian Veidt's behavior in HBO's Watchmen unusual and, perhaps, even unsettling would be something of an understatement. Over the course of the first four episodes of the series fans have seen the character burn one of his servants to a crisp and simply replace him with an exact copy, launch another one from a catapult in a homemade space suit only for the unfortunate creature to end up dead, frozen by what one presumed was the cold of space. The most recent episode may have seen the most unsettling acts from Veidt yet, however with the former Ozymandias literally harvesting babies from the middle of a lake -- and tossing back the ones he didn't want. For Veidt actor Jeremy Irons, though, all of these actions seem perfectly logical, at least in his view of the character.
Speaking with Indie Wire, Irons explained that Veidt's behavior is perfectly natural and normal for the character -- especially that babies-in-the-lake scene. It's something the actor compared to, of all things, chicken farming.
"They're very happy in the soup," Irons said of the scene. "It seemed entirely natural. Strange enough, the vision I had in my head in that scene was -- you've seen those documentaries about chicken farming? Where all the little chicks come down the conveyer belt and the guy goes, 'No, I don't want that one. That one can go. That's male.' That was what I had in my head for that scene -- it's entirely logical to live with. It's a very beautiful scene, I thought."
While some might be hard-pressed to call the scene "beautiful", it is certainly rather tame for some of the elements of the story that come after it. Once Veidt selects two of the babies, he takes them and puts them in a machine where he rages them to adults in mere minutes, turning up music to drown out the cries the clones let out in the process, but even that is tame compared to what we find out about why the whole thing happened in the first place. It's soon revealed that Veidt "had a bad night" and went on a killing spree, murdering all of his other servants and these new clones are going to replace them -- and help him clean up.
It's all certainly bizarre, eccentric even, but Irons explained that that is simply one of the great things about the show and that he had to "glory" in the weirdness of it all.
"The great thing about [creator Damon Lindelof's] scripts is that he certainly put me into an extraordinary situation, but I think no situation is so extraordinary that it couldn't happen in life -- that it hasn't happened or won't happen. So you just have to get your head around it and glory in the bizarreness of it," Irons said.
Watchmen airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.
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