Last month I was lucky enough to be asked by BET Networks to interview some of the cast of the upcoming blockbuster movie, X Men: Apocalypse for a series of promos that they are running. I was surprised and honored to be asked by producer Candace Griffin and her team as well as thrilled about being flown to Los Angeles for the shoot. I got a chance to speak with Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Evan Peters (Quicksilver), Lana Condor (Jubilee) and Tye Sheridan (Cyclops) at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hollywood and although I can’t share with you everything we talked about, here’s a bit of information about the movie from the actors themselves.
For those of you unfamiliar with the X Men: Apocalypse storyline, director Bryan Singer has chosen the character Apocalypse (a.k.a.- En Sabah Nur) and his mythos to explore. Apocalypse in the comics has had several different sets of “horsemen” including but not limited to Wolverine, Deathbird, Caliban and Ahab. In each instance, Apocalypse used his powers of persuasion to tap into a weakness that the particular mutant had and then convinced them to use their powers for his ultimate purpose…world domination. In Singer’s incarnation of the film, Apocalypse played by Oscar Isaac (yes, Poe Dameron in Star Wars Ep. VII) chooses Storm, Angel, Psylocke and Magneto as his “horsemen”. Except for Jubilee, Singer has also chosen to de-age the characters a bit for his re-telling and the entire movie takes place 10 years after the “past” of Days of Future Past, which basically means this movie is set right in the middle of the ‘80’s .
Jubilee – Lana Condor
For the record, Lana Condor is absolutely beautiful in person. I have no idea how she packs all of that energy into that tiny frame of hers but I want her secret! Apparently the ‘80s sets and costumes were very realistic and yes, Jubilation Lee will be wearing her character’s classic yellow jacket. They also kept Jubilee’s fashion addiction in the storyline. I was impressed by the fact that Fox managed to actually cast an Asian-American actor to play an Asian-American character. Lana is just as excited to play such a one of Marvel’s most well-known characters and says that she watched ALL of the X Men cartoons on Netflix and read as many comics as she could get her hands on so that she could stay true to the character for the fans. She was really excited to play the role stating “It was amazing to be able to play such an iconic character.”
Tye Sheridan is absolutely adorable. He was very gracious and also very excited to be part of the cast, as this is his first role in a blockbuster film. He described his first experience at Comic Con last year as “insane” and was really hoping that he could portray Cyclops in a way that the fans would appreciate. This is the first movie that we get to see Cyclops together with his brother Havoc (played by Lucas Till from X Men First Class) and I was really curious to find out what it was like for Sheridan to work with Till for the first time. “Well we’re both from the South (both actors hail from Texas) so we actually had a lot in common which was great.” Says Sheridan. Other cast members even mentioned how the actors even favor each other. Sheridan stated that we see a bit of Cyclop’s origin story in the movie and he isn’t necessarily as happy as his older brother about realizing that he’a mutant. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in the film.
I am a fan of Evan Peters from his current run on American Horror Story, so I was really excited to get a chance to talk to him. He was really cool and laid back and I asked him what it was like to be the “veteran” on the set with all of the young newbies. “I’m still a newbie myself, this is only my second one and it still feels great.” says Peters. Working on his effects scenes never got easier though, especially the rigging which allows him to run across walls and move at Quicksilver’s speedster’s pace. The other thing that was revealed in the trailer (and is canon as well) is that Magneto is Quicksilver’s dad. He said it was awesome to be able to work with both Fassbender and McAvoy again and that he learns something every time he works with them.
Of course, the one person I was thrilled to talk to was Alexandra Shipp, who is playing one of my favorite comic book characters, Storm. Not only was she absolutely stunning in person, but she was also hilarious. You guys really need to check out the BET promo to see her describe her reaction when she found out that she got the role of Ororo. (It’s priceless). The actress added that she did a lot of work to make sure her character came across as authentic as possible. She even took language training and learned Arabic for the role. (Does this mean we will meet a bi-lingual Storm?) This definitely seems to be Ororo in Cairo after her parents’ deaths but before she found the X Men. In X men: Age of Apocalypse, Shipp is sporting Storm’s look from the 80’s comic series Uncanny X men, which, although is right for the time period, was not Storm’s look from the comics when she first gains her powers as a child.
For the rest of the scoop be sure to check out BET Networks and look for the X Men: Apocalypse promos! 🙂
Even though we’ve heard a lot about this movie already, (from critics and actors alike), still check it out, because of all the blockbuster movies out this summer, X Men: Apocalypse will be the one of the only superhero movies with a truly diverse cast and I really want to support that.
The press junket was a blast and the L.A. BET crew was so professional and fun! A HUGE thank you to producer Candace Griffin and my fab makeup artist Tré Major for working with me! The promos I’m in will begin running on BET Networks soon. Check them out and let me know what you think! 🙂