4 March 2000
Q: Hi Mr. Mckellen, I am a big fan of yours and a bigger fan of the X-men! Will you please send me some pictures of the X-men cast? Thank you.
A: Sorry not to be able to help. Good Luck, Ian McKellen
Q:. Hi Mr. Mckellen, How come when I send you a long letter about how I am a big fan of yours, you send me a small note: "sorry not to be able to help." I feel that a great actor should like his fans email and want to talk to them more.
Q:: The most wonderful thing is that Magneto doesn't really consider himself a villain at all. I'm eighteen years old but comics make me feel like I'm eight years old again.
A: I agree with you about playing villains. All Wishes, Ian McKellen (another 8 year old)
Q: Do you know whether Rogue will have the white stripe of hair during the movie.
A: As long as you don't tell anyone I saw Halle Berry in Toronto, with a white streak in her hair.
Q: What was the appeal of playing Magneto?
A: I was intrigued by the moral argument at the heart of the X-Men saga. After three plays on the trot for West Yorkshire Playhouse, I was happy to find a major film in total contrast.
Q: Are villains more fun to play than good guys?
A: The devil has the best tunes. But of course the trick of playing "villains" is not to think of them as villainous. Characters should be judged by the audience not by the actors who play them, otherwise they might turn into caricature.
Q: Working with an ensemble cast is quite different than the last few films you've done. Are they more fun? Less fun? Better/worse?
A: As long as the screenplay is good and my part a challenge — that is, unlike anything I've tried before I am happy. Onstage, I think I may prefer ensemble scenes - it can be very exciting sharing the storytelling rather than leading it.
Q: The experience of the X-Men cast varied widely, from Oscar-nominees and winners to actors who've barely been on camera. Was that mix fun to work with or does it become impossibly hard if you are dealing with people who cannot find their marks?
A: When the camera rolls each person comes into his own and experience or lack of it is irrelevant. The mutants worked as a great team.
Q: This is the second film you've made with Bryan Singer. What's he like to work with? What makes him a good director? Do you like working with him?
A: Bryan's excelling quality as a director is his taste. Some directors are technically pre-eminent and others depend upon their intellect. Bryan knows the acting and action are right, when he feels them to be so. When he says after a take "that's good," you can believe him.
Q: What form will the soundtrack take, and who will compose/record thereon?
A: There are rumours on other sites but I don't know whether Bryan Singer has decided yet. John Ottman, who did the music for The Usual Suspects and Apt Pupil, is not available because he is busy with his first directing job (Urban Legends: The Final Cut).
Q: The movie would increase its already huge audience by including the Angel/Archangel. I would really love for my suggestion to be considered even at this late date: and yes I am available to play Angel's part!
A: Ah yes indeed - but the movie completed filming this month.
Q:. I was wondering who I could write to about characters that I would love to see in any future X-Men movies.
A: 20th Century Fox, PO Box 900, Beverly Hills, California 90213, USA.
Q: You should remind people that the X-Men movie was not your first foray into the genre of comic book related films. Back in 1994, you starred opposite Alec Baldwin in The Shadow.