2011 might just be the busiest year yet for actress Rose Byrne. In addition to starring in the hit FX series "Damages," she will have three films arriving in theaters in the next few months: James Wan's latest horror flick "Insidious" which opens this Friday; the Kristen Wiig-led ensemble comedy "Bridesmaids" coming in May and the comic tentpole "X-Men: First Class" arriving in June. There's certainly no doubt -- Byrne is no stranger to being busy. We recently caught up with the actress during press rounds for "Insidious" and our conversation turned to 'X-Men.'
The film started lensing last September, giving director Matthew Vaughn about ten months to turn around a giant blockbuster franchise film. January Jones, who stars as Emma Frost in the film, made no bones about the tight schedule saying last month that the movie was over schedule, calling the timeline "unrealistic" but also reiterating that despite the race to the finish line, the film will turn out fine. However, for Byrne, the experience was quite the opposite.
"No, on the contrary, [shooting] films [you] have so much time," she said when asked if she felt the film was rushed. "I come from TV-land, I come from 'Damages' where you have no time. You have no preparation. You just get the scene the night before and you hope and pray you do a good job. To me, 'X-Men' felt luxurious."
Yet, despite that luxury, Byrne had to quickly school herself on the world of the mutants as prior to the project, as it was not something she had any knowledge of. "I pretty much had to dive in. I knew a little bit, but not much. It's not my world really. I'm not a comic [fan], I never read comics, I've never been hugely into comic book films. It was a whole new genre to discover."
Playing Moira McTaggert, a geneticist and mutant expert, Byrne found a lot to admire about her character who operates in the very male-dominated science field of the film's period setting. "She's kind of a collaborator. She's James McAvoy's love interest in the film. She's a doctor in the comics and she's a CIA agent [in the film]," Byrne explained. "She's a real pioneer. It's in the '60s and it's a time when women did not work in the CIA. She's very smart, very ambitious, very forthright and really truly believes that humans and mutants can co-exist and in fact help one another."
And all that new 'X-Men' knowledge might very well come in handy down the road. Should everything go well on the June 3rd opening weekend for the film -- and there's little reason to doubt at this point that it'll be a box office hit -- Byrne has revealed to Cinema Blend that "technically" the major players of the cast have signed on for three films. But options for multiple films in franchise contracts is pretty well par for the course these days so we can't say we're too surprised. That said, we can't wait for a '70-vibed mutant tale.
So, it turns out the 'X-Men' film's "rushed" shoot is a matter of perception. But it should also be noted that Vaughn knew the release date the first day he started shooting and has undoubtedly been preparing and planning what he'd need to do to get it in the can in time.
Stay tuned later in the week for more from our interview with Byrne; "Insidious" opens this Friday.