By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com January 20, 2011 at 2:56AM
Michael Fassbender & Kevin Bacon Talk Shop; Also, Jennifer Lawrence Is All Kinds Of Awesome
Talk about dominating the news cycle: after months of relative inactivity, the 20th Century Fox promotional machine went into full gear yesterday -- perhaps a bit before was originally intended -- in support of the still-filming "X-Men: First Class," with set visits, official stills and a poster all hitting the net, hot on the heels of the underwhelming first look at the cast in full costume/make-up. Now, some of the members of the cast have been talking about the film as well, with Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Kevin Bacon (villain Sebastian Shaw) and Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) all discussing the film with various outlets.
As the film's co-lead, alongside James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Fassbender understandably had the most to say when he sat down with MSN, but both Bacon's interview with Cinematical and Lawrence's hilarious chat with Heat Vision have turned up some interesting details. Below are the ten key revelations from the chats, as well as from /Film's discussion with director Matthew Vaughn, which they ran alongside two new images from the film, including the one above, which shows the first look at Fassbender in the iconic Magneto helmet.
1. First off, don't worry, director Matthew Vaughn also hated the leaked image. "I freaked out on them yesterday. I don’t know where the hell that came from. I don’t think it’s a Fox image. It’s not a pre-approved image. When I found out, I said, what the fuck is this shit, and Fox is running around trying to figure out what happened as well. I agree. It’s like a bad photoshop, which maybe it was by someone. It didn’t reflect the movie. I was shocked when I saw it. I was like ‘Jesus Christ'"
2. Jennifer Lawrence said her intensive and highly intimate "Mystique" make-up process, involved seven girls, "all up in my business. Nothing's sacred anymore. Those girls and I got so close. They were painting me naked every day for months. It was kind of like going to a really bizarre sleepover. It’s what you guys imagine we do: One naked girl and seven pairs of hands all over her"
3. Lawrence had to starve herself throughout the shoot too which caused her to be ornery. "It was awful, I was hungry for five months. I’m still pissed about it. I’m slowly working my way back because I have to be able to eat like an asshole."
4. Michael Fassbender wasn't worried about the mutant overload displayed all-too-well in "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "Wolverine": "The cool thing about this movie is that I think it does deal with each individual mutant, and the ones they've chosen are all very much individuals and unique personalities with unique gifts... all these characters are fearful of their gifts and uncomfortable and misplaced in society"
5. Clearly Fassbender understands that Magneto is much more than a sneering villain with a rich history. "He's such a complex character, really, and the idea of him being a villain is interesting considering his history... he's a very solitary individual, and the pain and grief that's gone on even before we meet him in this film is an interesting pool of information to draw from, in coming up with Machiavellian character for whom the ends justified the means... By the time we leave him at the end of this movie, he's become very clear about what he wants and his decisions and his game plan.
6. Fassbender also says they toyed with the Magneto costume to get it just right and not overdo it. "We added things that worked in the comics, took them away again, and stripped them down again... When it came to the Magneto suit, you know, there's various stages of what has been done with it, but you will have something that is traditional to the comics. There is a helmet (laughs), which is of course essential to keep Charlie-boy out of my head, and the colors are also kept traditional to the comics, that sort of red and purple"
7. Kevin Bacon said his Sebastian Shaw character is still a bit of a mystery. "You don't see much [of his backstory] in the movie, but he's kind of a self-made man. He lost his father as a young man, made his first million by the time he was 30 and first billion by the time he was 40. He's a very powerful billionaire and also, as it turns out, a mutant. He's the leader of the Hellfire Club, which is a nightclub for the rich and extremely powerful. And he has a plot to take over the world, so that's really fun. He's incredibly good at manipulating people and at taking whatever kind of energy or ability they have and using it to his advantage, like if he's talking to a German, he's fluent in German. He's very charming and able to get whatever he wants."
8. Bacon loves the film's '60s setting. "There is an element of that, certainly to my character. I've got some pretty nice pads and I'm kind of slick in that way. I don't think it's visually, in terms of camera moves, it's not trying to recreate that. But it has an element of that. The set design is fantastic. I've only seen the sets that I've been on and they are really interesting and very '60s modern and super cool, and beautiful. I have one set that's kind of like an inner sanctum and then I also have a submarine; the inside of the sub has elements of my other set. I have my own set of style and wanted to translate it over to my board room and stuff. It's great. I love the way it looks."
9. Bacon says there's depth to this story that some comic book movies don't have. "That's hard for me to say, not having seen the movie. But I think the youth of the movie, that is really exciting. You've got Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Zoë Kravitz (Angel) and James McAvoy (Professor Xavier) and all these young actors who are about to explode. When you see them become what we know of as the X-Men, to me, that's really cool. The visual stuff, I can't say, until I've seen the effects. But from a plot standpoint, watching the creation of that kind of elite squad and yet they're all in this college dorm room kind of atmosphere, where there's romances and drunken parties and people become friends and then they have a falling out. I think all that stuff is going to be really cool. All of these movies deliver something other than just another airplane blowing up because there's interesting stuff going on between the characters."
10. Michael Fassbender says the director and James McAvoy convinced him to take the part. "What drew me was the script and Matthew Vaughn and the fact that James McAvoy was going to be playing young Xavier. I thought it was a fresh take on the whole story. I've never been a big comic book enthusiast, but I thought it was an interesting concept to go back to when they were both friends and initially came together."
Head over to the respective sites to read the full interviews. Despite the promotional blitz, it seems that we're a little while away from seeing a trailer -- it's currently one of the few summer tentpoles not locked in for a Superbowl slot, although it's possible that'll change in the meantime. The film's still shooting in New York but, come hell or high water, it'll be hitting screens on June 3rd.