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Sigourney Weaver Originally Meant to Play Jean Smart’s Role

We could have gotten a different Silk Specter

My Salinger Year Sigourney Weaver

Jean Smart revealed that she got the part of Laurie Blake, a.k.a. Silk Specter, on the Watchmen HBO series after Sigourney Weaver passed up the project. Talking to Variety about her experience with HBO Max’s series Hacks, Smart revealed this unknown trivia about the production of Watchmen, while also telling how she didn’t know anything about the original comic books before taking the part.

In the middle of the racial tension of Watchmen, Smart’s Laurie Blake shows up as a leading agent for the FBI’s Anti-Vigilante Task Force. In the original Watchmen comic storyline, Laurie ends up as a fugitive, trying to hide from the world together with Dan Dreiberg/Owlman. Set decades after the original comic books, the HBO series brings a very different Silk Specter, hardened by the years and more than willing to put her vigilante past behind her. Smart does amazing work as Laurie. However, we can’t avoid wondering how Weaver would have made the part her own, especially when she is so used to play tough women.


Image via HBO

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As Smart explains the whole situation:

“They hired me two days before I started. I’ll be really honest: I had Sigourney Weaver to thank for turning down the role. So, thank you, Sigourney. I knew nothing about the graphic novel. I started reading the pilot, and I said, ‘Oh, my God, this is amazing.’ I’d never really done that science-fiction genre, and the fact that Damon was able to use that tragic part of our history that almost no one knew about — that was what was so shocking, that I had never heard of the Tulsa massacre. That’s why I think he said no when I asked him to do a second season because I think he put everything into that.”

Created by Damon Lindelof, the Watchmen series nine episodes ran from October to November 2019. While it was a risk to try to adapt and change Alan Moore and Dave Gibbson’s comic book classic, the series was acclaimed by both the public and critics, receiving 11 from the 26 Emmy Awards it was nominated for. Watchmen full season is currently available on HBO Max.

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