Patrick Wilson: Patrick's Day

Angels in America’s Patrick Wilson comes down to earth to discuss his two new films, Morning Glory and Barry Munday, and Hollywood’s attempt to get him naked as often as possible.



You even justified showing off your boxers in your 2007 GAP commercial with Claire Danes.
That’s true. Look, after you’ve done The Full Monty on Broadway eight times a week for however many hundreds of shows and thousands of people, being undressed on a set in front of, like, four people isn’t a big deal. But nine times out of 10, I’ll just turn down a role if the script says, “and then he gets naked” — if that gives you any idea of the amount of material that comes my way where I’m asked to disrobe.

You’ll next appear opposite Rachel McAdams in Morning Glory, which was written by The Devil Wears Prada screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna. Do you and Rachel have a hot Notebook-caliber romance?
Well, it’s really more about her bizarre relationship with Harrison Ford’s character, but she and I do have some hot stuff, yeah. Rachel is just awesome. I play her boyfriend and the voice of reason among all these wacky characters. I loved it. It’s a very smart comedy, the soundtrack is great, and Aline knows how to write great characters.

You’re almost castrated in Hard Candy, you donate sperm in The Switch, and you lose your testicles in Barry Munday. Have you noticed a testicular trend?
And in Watchmen I was impotent. I am weirdly fascinated with the idea of masculinity, emasculation, and what it means to be a man, so I do gravitate toward roles that deal with that. But to answer your question, yeah, me and balls go way back.

It was also pretty ballsy of you to do Phantom of the Opera, which didn’t exactly get the best reviews of your film career.
Yeah, and I was the only guy in the room who’d done a musical before outside of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, who’d written a few. About 90% of my view of a movie is defined by my experience, because there’s so much that’s not in your control. I wouldn’t dare let critics or box office dictate my feelings on a film. I had an unbelievable time — six months in London — with Gerry Butler and Emmy Rossum. I’m a purist who grew up in musical theater, so I love hearing people with amazing voices perform, but film is a different beast. You can’t look at it the same way as a stage musical. I knew people were going to take cracks at certain parts and certain people in the movie, but I’m very proud of it, and the majority of that feeling comes from sitting next to Sir Andrew and having him be really happy with it. Look, I’d love to see a great musical movie where everybody’s amazing singers and dancers, but that’s a tough nut to crack.

You’re an amazing singer and dancer. Should fans create a Facebook campaign to get you on Glee?
[Laughs] Man, I don’t know. I don’t really watch Glee, so I don’t know much about it. You know, I worked with Ryan Murphy for a minute on Running With Scissors — most of my scenes were cut — but yeah, Glee’s a huge hit, so sure, why not?
Tags: film