Aquaman’s Patrick Wilson on Playing a Super-Villain and What He Looks For in a Character

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“I look for that in a character. What’s the opposite? What’s the good if he’s a bad guy, what’s the bad if he’s a good guy.” – Patrick Wilson

In Aquaman, Patrick Wilson portrays the Ocean Master, who is not only one of Aquaman’s fiercest villains but is also the half-brother of the superhero. In an interview with Screen Rant, Wilson speaks about portraying the DC Comics super-villain and how he embraced the character’s motives and personality.

Wilson explains that when playing a villain that he looks for what seems interesting about that villains’ motive. He says, “I like a good problem child. I like… Whenever I play somebody – whether they’re on the surface, if they’re good or bad – I look for the opposite in them. I try to find that. To me, that’s always fascinating, you know? And for me, the great villains and screen villains, too, I’ll take the gentlemanly personality of Hans Gruber over some maniacal, screaming bad guy. So, I always love to sort of play the opposite and play with that. So, I look for that in a character. What’s the opposite? What’s the good if he’s a bad guy, what’s the bad if he’s a good guy.”

One aspect that Wilson enjoyed about playing the character was the regal way he carries himself in his actions. Wilson explains, “I think it’s also the confidence from James to go for it. When you see – when you google ‘Ocean Master,’ no matter what artist has drawn him – and you put on that mask – you’ve got to fill that mask. You just have to. If you can’t, you have no business doing this if you’re gonna judge it or try to make him small or intimate. I mean, you just can’t. You’ve got to – you have to go there. And I love that. You know, I did theater, musical theater; I love embracing that melodrama, because it gives you a challenge to fill it. I always say whether you’re being a clown or a Greek tragedy or you’re doing a Sam Shepard play, you’ve got to fill those words. But the emotion, the intention is always the same. So, you understand his plight. I can go as big as you want, which, of course, we do.”

More: Patrick Wilson: “I like the mystery of acting”

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