Previously best known for co-starring opposite Miley Cyrus in “Hannah Montana: The Movie”, actor Lucas Till scored his biggest career coup to date when he booked the role of Havok in “X-Men: First Class”, this summer’s prequel to the blockbuster superhero franchise produced by Lauren Shuler Donner.
When I sat down with the up-and-coming young thesp earlier today at an event promoting this Friday’s DVD/Blu-ray release of the film (we also spoke with series producer Lauren Shuler Donner), he quickly made it clear that moving from the world of teeny-bopper fare like “Hannah Montana” to the relatively macho “X-Men” universe was a more than welcome change.
“This is probably the first time that I’ve been able to talk about what I’m doing with my friends,” admitted Till. “They’re kinda like, ‘you’re cool now’. Cause [my] work prior hasn’t been so much. …It’s unreal though. I’ve wanted to be a superhero my entire life. [And now I] got to play one, one of the cooler characters in one of the cooler franchises.”
Interestingly enough, Havok wasn’t the only role in the film Till tried out for – though it doesn’t sound like the alternative would’ve been very much to his liking.
“They could’ve been trying to goof me or whatever…[but] I went out, and they were flying me to London, and [they] told me I was auditioning for Havok and Beast,” he said. “And I was like, ‘I know you’ll kill me, but if I get Beast, I’m not in the movie. I’m not going through that makeup everyday.'”
Thankfully for Till, the role of Beast went to Nicholas Hoult instead, allowing him to avoid the arduous makeup process that Hoult, along with Jennifer Lawrence (as Mystique) and Jason Flemying (as Azazel), were forced to endure.
“I have so much respect for Jason, Jennifer, and Nick,” said Till. “They had to go through like hours of makeup before we even got there. It’s just rough.”
Till’s biggest problem in playing Havok was apparently trying to look cool while shooting plasma blasts out of his chest – pretty small potatoes compared to his co-stars, if you ask me.
“The first time when I blow up the statue, I remember…practicing in my hotel room, looking in the mirror, like ‘Oh, what is that gonna look like? Oh yeah, that’s better-looking’,” he recounted as he feigned staring at his reflection. “And then throw that out the window when [John] Dykstra shows me the pre-vis, and it’s like these rings coming out of my body, and I’m [like] ‘okay…’ And then Matthew’s like ‘Now, imagine hula hoops are coming out of your body’. And I was like ‘I wanted to be a superhero my entire life, and you’re gonna make me do a hula hoop dance.”
Nevertheless, Till was ultimately happy with the on-screen results.
“It just turned out so well, you know? It’s something i can really be proud of,” he said, before adding about a possible sequel: “But I would say…I’d like Hank to make me some gauntlets or something [in the sequel] so I can shoot out of my hands…I think it would be cool.”
Outside of a possible future with the “X-Men” franchise, Till recently wrapped up a small role in “Stoker”, the English-language debut of “Oldboy” director Park chan-Wook, as well as a lead role in an independent romantic thriller entitled “Dark Hearts”.
“X-Men: First Class” is out on DVD/Blu-ray this Friday.