One of the most common questions asked during interviewes with comic book movie actors is how much research they did have to do in order to play their characters. After the usual vauge "yes" response to the "Did you read comics?" query the actors do not always come off as "studied". With no specific details about their backstory in comic book research I never believe the actors to have truly studied their comic book counterpart. Sometimes it even sounds as if they have a rehearsed answer ready for that question.
I have not officially given my opinion on X-Men: First Class but in a nutshell I can say that the movie was not bad. Even with the obvious non-true to the comics concept the movie flowed well as an enjoyeble experience. It was definetly better than X3 and X-Men Origns: Wolverine but not as good as Thor or The Dark Knight as most reviewers claim.
Today I spent some time watching interviews of the XM:FC actors and I was extremly suprised by the specific references to comic books the actors gave. Marvel.com's Assistant Editor Marc Storm interviewed James McAvoy (Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Lucas Till (Havok), Zoe Kravitz (Angel Salvadore) and Rose Byrne (Moira MacTaggert) where the common question came up:
1:40 - 2:40Storm: Michael, you mentioned that you went back to the comics for some sort of inspiration. Were there any particular one that helped you?
Fassbender: Yeah, there was one story that I basically drew every thing from. It's not mentioned, or sort of, it's not at all apparent in the history of the character in any of the films, including this one. For me, I could really draw all of the personallity traits I was looking for. It's the story between Erick and Magda, who was a gypsy girl that he freed from the concetration camps when he managed to break out himself. They got married and they he tried to live a, sort of normal life, and they had a child and that child got killed in a fire by some sort of an angry mod. So, in retribution, he killed the entire village and his wife Magda got freaked out about that and left him. From that story I could draw a lot of his sorrow and his mistrust of the human race and just that sort of single minded-ness.
5:01 - 5:54Storm: How much did each of you go back to the original comics to sort of draw elementts of your characters from those interpretations.
Till: I think we all did.
Kravitz: It'd be dumb not to and then, we were very lucky though. When we got to London we were handed like these giant folders that they had put together for us with pretty much every episode that your character's ever been in. Which, I think we would have all done ourselves but it was handed to us which was nice.
Byrne: It's an actor's dream really because we might be like "What's my backstory?"
Till: [Gestures as if handed a folder] Boom!
Byrne: "Here´s your backstory". [Gesturing as if reading a comic] "So I went to another planet and then I died but then I came back?" and then "He's not my son? Oh we got married!"
Kravitz: I know I'm like "I'm sleeping with someone named Beak that has a..."
Kravitz: "Oh didn't know that was my type."
I have seen interviews of actors who never laid eyes on a comic book and played elaborate, fictional characters based on direction alone. Not that there's anything wrong with that, the actors are only doing their jobs but in this case the direction allowed the actors to be informed of how they should or should not take from the comics. Strangely enough, for me personally, this inducessome bode of confidence in the studio to not ignore the original couterparts.
Would you say you agree?
-- Geo (sora_thekey) 24/7 geek! -- Follow me on Twitter:@sora_thekey