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Jean Smart tells Seth Meyers all about that Watchmen prop and drops an enigmatic spoiler

Photo: Lloyd Bishop (NBC)

Jean Smart is just one of the actors killing it as the next-gen vigilantes on HBO’s Watchmen, but her appearance as the now middle-aged FBI agent Laurie Blake (formerly known as the second Silk Spectre) has everyone talking. After similarly anchoring Fargo’s second season, old pro Smart has helped ground this seemingly ill-advised continuation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ legendary graphic novel, despite infamously cantankerous Moore’s fervent wish that DC Comics would leave his stuff the hell alone, already.

Still, Smart told Seth Meyers on Thursday’s Late Night that she’s been happily unaware of Watchmen her whole working life, at least until she got the script that, in the most graphic way possible, demonstrated just how not over her former lover, the all-powerful, blue-skinned, usually nude Dr. Manhattan Laurie Blake is. “Oh, dear God, no!,” is how Smart told Meyers she reacted while reading that page of what the’d theretofore thought was a tremendous script. (In case you’re not a Watchmen watcher, comics fanboy Meyers broached the subject as gently as possible before giving in to ask his guest about “a giant blue dildo.” Sometimes, there’s just no way around something like that.) Smart, a noted comics not-fan, has already proven her comics cred and tolerance for out-there comics weirdness on Legion, so, while she admitted the scene was the first time she was glad her parents were no longer with us, she seemed pretty tickled by the whole thing. (And Moore already wrote that whole “two Dr. Manhattans, one Laurie” threesome scene in the book, so he can pipe down with any objections on this one.)

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As for her Watchmen experience as whole, Smart was effusive in praising co-star Tim Blake Nelson as both one of the smartest people she’s ever met, and the sort of “minx” who thinks new buddy Smart’s idea of a fun night out is a visit to Atlanta’s only(?) geriatric strip club. Again, Smart’s a gamer. She also, while admitting to ravenous Watchmen viewer Meyers, that’s she’s “on lockdown” about what she can say, did—choosing her words oh-so carefully—offer up the sort of non-spoiler spoiler that gets fans’ Spidey-sense tingling. (yes, not the same universe. Easy, nerds.) With master showmanship, Smart said, “Something that people are hoping for, they’ll probably—might—get to see. And something that they didn’t expect at all, they’re gonna see—and they’re almost the same thing.” Speculation in the comments . . . commence.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.