If you do not know, actor Tim Blake Nelson is from Oklahoma. Yes, Oklahoma! Specifically, he was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is an actor, writer, and director, most famous for directing the film ‘Leaves of Grass’. It does help that for his latest project ‘Watchmen‘ the story is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is Nelson’s home.
In an interview with SlashFilm, the actor speaks on his character, Wade Tillman alias Looking Glass, wearing the mask, working with Regina King, and drawing on his home state influences to interpret the character. For Nelson, playing Tillman gave to him the opportunity to draw on character types and real-life acquaintances to etch the portrait of Wade Tillman.
“There’s one guy who really influenced the character of Wade. Actually, two guys. One guy with whom I worked at Tulsa Beef, the meatpacking company in Tulsa one summer, with whom I used to go fishing on the Verdigris River. Then another guy from the southern area of the state in Little Dixie in a town called Broken Bow that also helped inspire [my film] Leaves of Grass. So I kind of put two of these characters together in terms of building Wade.”
Other influences that helped shape Looking Glass are the types in rural Oklahoma and the stylistic and fashionable preferences prevalent in the region. Nelson spoke of acting the calm though menacing guy at the bar whom no one wants to fight with.
“But another big influence was the fact that Damon had called for the horseshoe mustache in the script. Again, that’s a particular type when it comes to rural Oklahoma. Again, it’s the dry, laid back, confident restraint. Then also definitely the kind of guy you want to stay away from at a bar.”
In the interview, the Tulsa native spoke of reflecting that same “dry, laid back, confident restraint” in his first interrogation scene as Looking Glass. Nelson spoke of “doing less” when putting on the mask.
“Well, when I put the mask on I immediately understood that rather than doing more with my voice and body, I should probably actually be doing less so that the opacity of the mask was setting the direction rather than creating an obstacle.”
Nelson had good things to say about Regina King and told how he fell in love with her “eyes”.
For all those that have not kept up, the nine-episode Season 1 concluded on December 15th and is available for streaming on HBO Now and HBO Go.
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