21 July 2000
Warning: SPOILERS BELOW!
Q: I have seen X-Men and thought it was great! Which scene took the longest to film?
A: As far as Magneto was concerned, transforming the aggressive Senator Kelly into a victim and outwitting the police force outside the railroad station each took 4 icy-cold nights to film.
Q: I truly look forward to the sequel, both you and Patrick Stewart must be in it or we will not see it. Sequel?...y/n? and if you're ever in Ft. Worth, TX, stop in for some BBQ Ribs and a Summer Sausage plate.
A: After a well-earned rest, the producers will regroup with Fox next week to plan the X-Men sequel. Patrick and I are contracted to take part. As for your meaty invitation, it's an offer that, as a vegetarian, I will refuse. But with thanks.
From Scott Carr, email@example.com
Q: I felt the story and execution of the story was excellent - and your portrayal of the Master of Magnetism was incredible. There is nothing left for me to do now except return to the theater to watch again. Oh, and my seven year old daughter (my "super-hero" kid after my own heart) loved it too.
A: Thank you. At your daughter's age I was taken by my parents regularly to the cinema and theatre and often to see work that some might have thought inappropriately "adult". The moral basis of the X-Men story makes it instructive to young and old alike.
Q: X-Men rocks! In the final scene, where you're playing chess with Xavier, can you please give me details on the position on the board? I'm a chessmaster, and the position looks nice and authentic to me.
A: Sorry to be unhelpful but I understand only the rudiments of chess moves and just slavishly followed the instructions of the Canadian player who planned the game for Xavier and Magneto. I questioned whether the audience would follow the implications of "checkmate" but was overruled by Bryan Singer's enthusiasm for the game.
Q: I dragged my wife to it on Friday afternoon, and I'm happy to say, she had enjoyed it more than I had anticipated. Her only complaint was that she wanted more. And I agreed with her.
A: Having dragged her, I hope you paid for your wife. Exit polls suggest that, by a small margin, women are even more enthusiastic about the film than are men.
Q: I just saw X-men the movie. It was good but could i just say something. If there is a sequel, please please let me join the cast. Trust i know just about everything about X-men. If you let me join i bet it would be bigger than the first movie. Of course it might cost a lot more. (Also i'm only 13.) Here is a story plot. Mystick breaks out Magneto. They go and find recruits. So they find Juggernut, Apocolypse, Mr. Sinister, and someone else who is really cool. Well then the X-men also have new recruits like Colossus, Gambit, Beast, Havok, Juibilee, and Nightcrawler. Well they leave on a different mission leaving prof. x and his students by himself. Well, say as if prof. is at a dying age and his students have to fight. So Shadow Cat, Ice Man, Flash, and some others have to fight. Well at the end of the first movie Wolverine said he would come back. Well guess who is back.... The others from their mission fight, but the enimie have a secret weapon....Sentinels. So they get caught up in the sentinels when magneto wants revenge for some reason. Then Wolverine comes to save the day with his friend Morph. Then they KICK MAJOR AZZ.
A: Congratulations on your ingenious plot which I shall pass on to the producer Tom DeSanto. He has been an X-Men fan since he was your age. As for being in the sequel, are you sure that you shouldn't aim to be a producer rather than an actor?
From Jake Thompson:
Q: I am curious about something that has hounded comics almost since their inception; the generally perceived notion that they are solely for children (a comic artist is the only person in America ever convicted of obscenity in their art). I wonder if there has been any backlash against you as an openly gay man for portraying a "children's character." If not, do you think it is perhaps because you are playing a villain?
Q: A nice point but thankfully not (so far) an issue. But it reminds me that when I took part in the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe by reading war poems by Walt Whitman in front of the the Queen and other heads of state, the political journalist Lord Tebbitt wrote that the whole event was spoilt by "that awful homosexual Ian McKellen - why couldn't they have found a decent straight actor instead". Like John Gielgud or Nigel Hawthorne, I suppose.
Q: I read in "Bits and Bobs" that you keep a souvenir from each movie you act in. What have you kept from X-Men? What will you keep, or do you hope to keep, from Lord of the Rings? I envision a room in your home housing Dussander's uniform, Magneto's helmet, Glamdring, et cetera...
A: In the last scene of "X-Men", Magneto wears a pair of clogs made of plastic. I'm keeping them safe in case they are needed for the sequel and as they are washable, no-one will guess that I've worn them a lot in the meantime.
As for "Lord of the Rings", I filched a souvenir from Bag End before the set was dismantled. I'm banking on there not being a sequel...
Q: My question to you is, (really silly) does the rail trap on the Magneto action figure you're seen playing with not work as well as mine????
Q: How does a director like Bryan Singer receive such high status, and how would one become a director?
A: Bryan studied film at the University of Southern California. But he could not have succeeded so well had he not been a total movie fan from an early age. If you want to do the same, see as many films as you can and analyse why you think they are good or bad. You might start telling your own screen stories with the help of a digital movie camera and a subject with which you are very familiar, maybe something that happened to you.
For more about X-Men be sure to read Magneto's Lair and