X2 | E-Posts | 5 November 2002

Ian McKellen E-Posts

5 November 2002


Q: I was wondering about the significance of the Check Mate at the very end of the film. Does that have any deeper meaning other than Xavier will always beat him, even in chess, and was it written in the script or was it yet another of your brilliant spur-the-moment ideas, such as "Young People"?

A: It was not in the original script, and only decided on during preparation for shooting the scene. This was the last day's filming for both Patrick Stewart and me.


From: Alexandre Rowe

Q: I wanted to tell you that despite the efforts (and the great talents) of Raimi, Maguire, Dunst and Dafoe, X-Men is still, to me, the super-hero movie with the most soul. Have you seen Alan Cumming's costume and make-up yet? I always thought Nightcrawler was the mutant with the coolest look.

A: Thank you for your approval. I think all the actors are conscious of the impact of the mutants' story. Alan looks very dapper and ready for action in his vaguely Dickensian frockcoat over that fearsome tail. His two-digit hands and feet are cute and just slip on over his own. It's the make-up that takes the time. Not as prolonged as Rebecca Romijn's all-over job, but the same colour and a complicated technique to apply the raised tattoos all over his face that takes four hours to put on.


Q: I understand Xmen 2 will be filming in Alberta shortly. Myself having grown up in Edmonton and currently living in Calgary, I would be curious to know your impressions of my home province.

A: I don't have to wait until we film in Kananskasis to rave about the Rockies. I was already there for a couple of nights at Lake Louise and Jasper. Particularly memorable were the tea houses for weary travellers thousands of feet up and close to the glaciers. Run by students who spend the summer near the snowline, they serve home-made soup and scones and eggs on toast and Earl Grey tea. These cafes were originally staffed by the wives of guides taking Canadian Pacific Railway travellers over the glaciers to the tops. Hot refreshments would then, as now, refresh the climbers and walkers.


From: Nathan

Q: Do you know who will be scoring this film i know last time it was michael kamen.

A: This time 'round, the editor John Ottman (who edited Usual Suspects and Apt Pupil for Bryan Singer) is composing the score — his first love.


From: Odgred

Q: As delighted as I am with the new X-men 2 footage that was recently made available on the official website, I was dismayed to see that Magneto gets beaten with a club while in prison. GASP!! I can't stand it!! I know you can't talk too much about what happens next, but I sincerely hope Magneto fights back. My question to you is more personal. Have you ever been in a physical fight? If so, why and did you win?

A: The last fight I was in was in the playground of my primary school when I was approaching 10 years of age. I did not initiate the attack by a few rowdies and dealt with it by lying down and crying. I can remember the charge "Them's not real tears!" As they were real, I learnt an acting point that painful day — that real feelings to an audience may not be as convincing as fake ones.

I am not to be drawn about the movie's details. You know the rule, no spoilers. However suppose what you thought you saw in the plastic prison was someone's dream. With Mystique around could be certain that you saw the real Magneto?


From: Terry Ostoin

Q: Will Mr.Mckellen be in Detroit for the Detroit filming of X-Men if this has not already taken place?

A: I am not aware of any filming in Detroit. If there is any, it does not involve Magneto.


From: Craig Estrella

Q: Many action films tend to centre around characters and actors who are in their thirties. How does it feel to be a 63 year old actor who not only gets to hold his own on screen against people who are pretty much half his age, but to kick their tails frequently? Do you feel that X-Men is unique, and in a sense something to be respected for, in it's choice of characters — especially considering that both Magneto and Xavier are not the typical, young action heroes, and Xavier himself is bound to a wheelchair? Or is this even something you have thought about?

A: I have thought about it: and smiled. I suppose part of the old boys' attraction for young people is their continuing prowess. When Magneto puts on the helmet and snarls he becomes one of the most powerful mutants in the world. Of all the mutants, he and Xavier seem most at ease with their mutancy — veteran warriors — the younger characters often look inconvenienced by their gifts and abilities, as if they were liabilities.


From: Ignatius Foley

Q: I am a huge fan of X-Men and of Bryan Singer's work. Is there any chance of in the films to come do you think that we will see Magneto's kids? I had hoped to see Quicksilver aid in the breaking out of Magneto. What are your thoughts? Thanks.

A: I have suggested a couple of times that Magneto's offspring would enhance the story . I've obviously been talking to the wrong person because, like you, I think it's a great idea.

From: Faith

Q: I wish I could explain to Singer that not all of us out here are panting Wolverine fans as seems to be the impression I get from everything I hear. I would love to see an "X-Men" focused movie not a Wolverine one. Can't wait to see Magneto again and am looking forward to Mystique and Pyro as well.

A: Wolverine is the leading male part in X-Men2 but as ever the story is about all the mutants. Some of them, like Pyro, were not in the first film.


From: Philip John Gee

Q: I understand that all your recent plastic dolls have used a technology where your face is scanned into a computer to get the likeness correct. Is it true and how was the experience?

A: There have been many Magneto dolls and miniature Gandalfs and too few of them have managed a good likeness. There was some scanning that involved standing strapped to a turntable which revolved slowly so the camera could capture every angle. This information was fed painlessly into a computer and presumably supplied to the doll sculptors on whose work it seems to have had little effect.


From: Daniel Chant

Q: In the first film, the audience empathised with Magneto and his cause even if they didn't agree with his actions. I was simply wondering that with the focus of the film's nemesis being apparently shifted to Stryker (Brian Cox) and his own nefarious schemes, will there still be as much depth and characterisation to Magneto? And perhaps more importantly, will his screen-time be considerably reduced?

A: Ah Daniel it is kind of you to be concerned. The point you make is valid, but Magneto's approach remains distinctively his own and his presence therefore indispensable, as you would expect.


From: Richard Foster

Q: Just curious if you've ever heard any speculation from Bryan Singer or others as to whether Magneto will ever lead the X-men or teach at the school instead of Xavier ... I always liked the uneasy truce that Xavier and Magneto formed and how Magneto's honor and former friendship with Charles forced him to take Charles' place. And is it possible we will ever see more of Magnus' and Xavier's mutual past?

A: Good ideas but nothing like them in this first sequel.


From: Beth

Q: I was wondering can we expect the same anti-human Magneto in X-Men 2? Magneto has reason to want to protect his race and all, but at the same time, do you think that he's condeming the rest of the world because of his past experiences?

A: It feels to me that Magneto's disaffection with humanity at large rises in part from the way he has been treated even before his mutancy developed. He also accepts that mutants are a development beyond the norm and that they are superior. "We are the future Charles not them."


From: Laura

Q: I saw X-Men and just fell in love with the hott Shawn Ashmore who plays, Bobby "Iceman" Drake. i also heard he was in the X-Men 2, true? If so how was it working with him?

A: "Hott" you think? Certainly charming, diligent, talented and well-cast as Iceman, Shawn is a delight to work with. He and Magneto didn't meet in the first film.  

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