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X-Men 2 - Shawn Ashmore & James Marsden Q&A



Compiled by Jack Foley

Q. One of the interesting things about X2, as opposed to some comic book movies, is that it really gets a grip of people as outsiders, something which teenagers can definitely relate, and certainly your character has a moment when he has to come out to his parents. What do you think it is that gives this film depth from that kind of perspective?
Shawn Ashmore: At some point everyone has, or probably will, feel like an outsider, so the interesting thing about the X-Men is that the things that make them different, also empower them.
So that's sort of exciting from an acting point of view, and probably why the comic book was so popular; people who started reading them from a young age saw that these people were outsiders, but also empowered by the things that made them different, and as they grew up, realised that it's those differences that are special in everyone. I think the film is really trying to portray that sort of theme, so that, I think, is what makes X-Men a little different from other comic book films.

Q. The film has the feel of a middle part of a trilogy, are you all committed to a third film? And what, if so, you are looking forward to?
Shawn:
It's nice to get to play a character several years later, because you have a lot of time to think about what you would and wouldn't have done, and what you'd like to see.
So, yeah, if there is an X3, I think there is a lot of room for all of the characters to grow. And again that would be fun to realise what you liked and didn't like about the character and make some changes again.
But, I guess, that's sort of premature at this point, because it's not out yet, so we'll have to just wait and see...

Q. The X-Men is always topical because of the theme it embraces. But particularly with the climate over the past couple of years, is it more relevant than ever, this film, because it's about tolerance?
Shawn:
Tolerance is a timely and timless message, so I think you can definitely associate what's going on now with it. But the themes of X-Men are 40-years-old.

 

James Marsden....

Q. Are you looking forward to doing Preacher? And are you concerned with becoming known as a comic book actor?
James Marsden: No, not at all. Preacher is a comic book that I quickly became a fan of once they offered me the role. It's still premature in that it's still in a state of uncertainty right now. When it ever comes together, I would love to do it.
I didn't like comic books, growing up. I never was into them. When I did X-Men, obviously, I did a quick study and enjoyed it, but Preacher is a whole different story.
I was obsessed with it, for a good while. It's very dark, much, much darker than X-Men, and I like that it has the balls to tackle the hypocrisies of conventional religion and things like that, but it's also kind of a western. Hopefully, when it all gets together, I'll enjoy doing it.

Q. But would you like to do something else in between, so that you're not just perceived as an actor who does comic book roles?
A. Oh sure, but for me I think the characters are so different, that it wouldn't have really mattered. But I just did this film called The Note Book, with Nik Cassavettes, which is a total actors' piece, with Joan Allen, Geena Rowlands, James Garner and Sam Shephard, a great big cast, and a terrific ensemble.
So, that kind of changes it up, which is interesting to do. But I was never worried about being the 'comic book guy'.

 

 

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