A/V Room









X-Men 2 - Sir Ian McKellen Q&A

Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. One of the things that was hinted at in the first film was the Magneto/Professor X relationship being like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. I just wondered how important that was to you in underpinning...
A: Abosutely, crucial. That was the pitch that Bryan Singer gave me; he said this is about gay politics, Ian. You know, what do you do, if society treats you as a mutant? Do you say, ‘well, I'm sorry, but let me join in’, or do you say, ‘right, I'm going to take you on’. I am different, and I'm proud of it.
Any civil rights movement is about pride, and Xavier and Magneto are constantly discussing, throughout the comics, and just as much in the first film, how that pride should come into action... there's less of it in this film, because it's assumed that people now know the argument is there, but maybe in the third film, we'll get more of it.

Q. Were you very happy with the way the sequel has been developed, as it is one of the most worthy action movies out?
A: I have to say I found the plot impenetrable. But I think it is a very clever ploy, because if you can't understand it, then, presumably, you’re going to come back and see it a second time.

Q. On the theme of relationships in the film, you mentioned in one of the previous groups that you had a notion for some kind of romantic development that could have happened for Magneto...
A: Well, Magneto in one of the comic versions, has a couple of children. But, you know, if you've got Mystique as your girlfriend, the fun you could have in bed... I just imagined that, perhaps, the third film might open with me in bed with Patrick Stewart, who morphs into Rebecca Romijn. So long as everyone is perfectly clear that this was just a little pecadilo.
[To Hugh] But you have a scene in this film where she uses you, doesn't she...
Hugh: Yeah, it was horrific. I was abused by her and it was a horrific half-day of filming. But the poor girls, they all had this kind of solidarity, and one by one they sat in the director's chair, while the crew were putting up scorecards after each one. Brutal.

Q. You're finally now enjoying the glory of being a major film star. How does that make you feel?
Well, that's very kind of you to put it in those terms. I'm currently on Shaftesbury Avenue, in Dance of Death, which I strongly recommend to you, and it's always been a sort of fantasy that I would actually be playing on stage (didn't matter whether it was Broadway or West End), on the day that a major film that I was in also opened. It seemed the ultimate in glamour that an actor could be allowed to do two things like that. [Aside] Well, a third thing, because Lord of the Rings is still playing in Leicester Square. So I'm one very, very happy actor.

Q. I think it would be a tragedy, if you didn't tell the members of the press about your intention to tread the panto board...
Well, I said on the Parkinson Show, that it was a dream of mine to do a Dame, and I've had about four offers. The latest came, oh dear, last night and it looks as though my local theatre - I won't say which that is - needs a Dame, and it's Widow Twanky! I could hardly do the show, I was so excited. There's a point when I'm fast asleep in Dance of Death, and on cue I have to wake up and join the play, and I was dreaming about what sort of frock I should wear, or maybe I could wear Gandalf's hat. He could be called Gandalfina, and there could be jokes about me having a Fellowship of... I'm doing all this to myself and suddenly I hear the cue, and finally I get a kick, and hear 'come on Ian, you've got a play to do...' I’m in character already!




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