Vegas Magazine Interview

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Romijn and the X-Men faithfuls (including Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry) certainly didn't disappoint the hordes of fans who made the first two movies into box-office hits, which together grossed nearly $400 million. "When we were doing the first one, we had no idea what we were making," she admits. "Most of us weren't familiar with the X-Men. But we all followed what the fan boards were saying on the Internet. It was so crazy. We totally felt the pressure. The fans are on those sites all day long debating casting choices, the wardrobe, the director, the tone and the look of the movie. Everybody has an opinion."

The consensus is that Romijn' all-blue portrayel of Mystique is kick-ass. And that underlying factor got her through the arduous makeup process, which took nine hours a day for the first movie. "On the second one, we were desperate to figure out how to make it better," Romijn says. "We got it down to six hours, which was a big difference. Six hours was still six hours of hell, frankly, but it was a lot better than nine. I remember going in for the makeup test for the second movie and as soon as they started opening all the bottles of paint and sillicone the smell hit me like a ton of bricks. Tears came to my eyes as I remembered the pain and agony of going through all that. But the final result was so beautiful. The costume is like a work of art."

Furthermore, Mystique's costume is also extremely delicate, which makes her fight scenes all the more difficult. "It's hard," she says of the action sequences. "It's very technical. When you watch the movie it looks easy and seamless. But the costume is fragile and it takes so long to set up each shot that it's not as fun as it looks. There's a lot of stopping and touching up. It's kind of a drag. But it's fun being a part of the whole thing."

However, it can't be all that grueling, since Romijn has already signed on for X-Men 3, which has a release date of 2006. "I keep secretly hoping that by then they'll be able to do it with CGI," she explains about her transformation into Mystique. "In the first one, I had to wear these giant yellow contact lenses. I had never put anything in my eys before. They had this optometrist on set just to put these contacts in my eyes every day, which made me almost completely blind. It was a drag. They were really painful and gave me dry eye. On the second one, happily, they were able to do it in postproduction."

But whether she is looking Smurflike or picture-perfect, fans still salivate over Romijn in all her movies. Her sexiest role to date was as a con artist in Brian De Palma's Femme Fatale, in which she shares a Sapphic interlude with her good friend Rasmussen. So do fans stop her all the time to thank her for that titillating moment? "You'd be surprised," she answers. "People want to talk about X-Men more than that sex scene."

Nevertheless, Romijn isn't worried about being typecast as a comic-book bombshell; she recognizes that this trend in filmmaking is here to stay. "The fact of the matter is that they're making so many of these movies now," she says, "it's hard to avoid them. Once you're in one successful franchise, you automatically end up getting scripts for the others. But I'm just grateful for the work. Work is work."

Original article: Vegas Magazine 4/2004

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