Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy first played Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr and Professor X/Charles Xavier to great effect in 2011's “X-Men: First Class.” It assuredly wasn't an easy task stepping into the roles previously played by Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, but now in “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” Fassbender and McAvoy have to play the roles in the same film as McKellen and Stewart which one imagines is even more difficult.
We aren't going to go so far as to suggest that the first three “X-Men” movies (or even the first two if you want to take “The Last Stand” out of the equation) got everything right, but it did get the McKellen-Stewart casting dead on. The two actors lent a gravitas towards the roles and consequently, the films. When I got the chance to sit down with Fassbender and McAvoy, I had to know if the two younger men adjusted their performance based upon the presence of the older ones.
Fassbender said he did adjust. He said it was mainly in terms of McKellen's accent, which Fassbender said he didn't attempt in “First Class.”
Then, I got the hint of an interesting answer from McAvoy (it is at about 1:20). McAvoy said that he has viewed his job as to play the role differently than Stewart, “Until the kind of final moments of the third movie… it's about charting the journey towards Patrick Stewart.” We will have to see what means in terms of 2016's “X-Men: Apocalypse,” but it does seem as though McAvoy has had an idea from the beginning about where the story has been headed and maybe even how long it will take to get there (although, as he points out, his contract runs out with the third film, which is why he may being viewed that as the end no matter what occurs with the character).
The other thing you will note if you watch the full interview above, is that these two guys, Fassbender and McAvoy, seem to be having a whole lot of fun. The two stated that it's always been fun, and Fassbender explained, from his point of view, it's a better experience to have a group interview as opposed to a one-on-one, and that's something they didn't do much of with “First Class.”
In case you haven't seen it, when you're done watching the above, definitely click below and watch the clip of Fassbender, McAvoy, and Hugh Jackman on “The Graham Norton Show.” Also, be sure to read Drew McWeeny's review of “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
Directed by Bryan Singer, the movie hits theaters on May 23rd.