Despite the elaborate set pieces, extreme costumes and a travel back in time, January Jones simply “enjoyed being a mutant” in new “X-Men: First Class.”
The ’60s era during which the comic book film takes place may be no new stretch to Jones, who’s best known for her role as Betty Draper in “Mad Men.” But the privileges of having superpowers were not lost on her or her “X-Men” castmates, gathered in New York today (May 25) to discuss the franchise flick. “I loved my character the best I think,” she deadpanned as actors like James McAvoy (Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto), Kevin Bacon (Sebastian Shaw) and Rose Byrne (Moira MacTaggert) debated the strengths of the story and their own characters.
Byrne — who plays a non-mutant CIA agent — admitted to a little “power envy.” Bacon was “knocked out” upon viewing the movie, unknowing how his mutant power to absorb and manipulate energy was going to manifest on screen.
“Where he’s wise, I was unwise. Where he’s chaste, I was rather randy,” McAvoy said, comparing his younger, “silly and drunk” version of Professor X to the elder, played by Patrick Stewart in the five other “X-Men” films. “I didn’t see myself as…”
“… a bald guy,” Fassbender cheerfully chimed in.
And to that — of all the many different foreign languages spoken in “First Class” — none seem to be as widely adopted as sarcasm and gentle chiding on set and during this promotional run. Zoe Kravitz said preparation for her role as acid-spitting, flying former stripper Angel involved “research on the WonderBra.” Upon initially learning he got a part in the film, Bacon said his first thought was, “Who fell out?” Fassbender and McAvoy — whose characters in them play out how they began as friends and end as enemies — were quick to suggest baby names to round-bellied Jones, who is expecting a child in the fall.
Many of the actors described the process of making the movie “fast-paced,” “tough” and “under-pressure” or having joined the cast “very quickly.” The Matthew Vaughn project had undergone some delays but obviously made it out just fine on the other side, said McAvoy. When he’d first seen the final, he encouraged Fassbender to watch it as soon as possible.”I said, You’ve got to see it quick, you’re gonna be relieved, you’ll be able to go to the toilet again,” he laughed. “We were worried, man, because sometimes these things are a nightmare, and it’s been well-documented that they can.”