07-19-2000: Today Show

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Matt Lauer: The X-Men have taken the country and the box office by storm and Cyclopse, Rogue and Wolverine. In case you don't already know those are the names of comedy “X-Men”, a group of mutant superheroes combating Magneto's evil brotherhood. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos plays sinister metamorph Mystique.

CLIP OF MYSTIQUE

Matt Lauer: Good, good work, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. Thanks for getting up early. Nice to see you.

Rebecca Romijn: Nice to see you. Thanks for having me.

Matt Lauer: You must to have fun, being naked in this movie.

Rebecca Romijn: There were parts that were fun and there were parts that were not so fun. It was really grueling getting into that make-up.

Matt Lauer: Before we get to the make-up, cause that is a whole process. We're talking about eight to ten hours. You are one of the few characters, the few actors of the movie, who actually used to read “X-Men” comics.

Rebecca Romijn: I didn't read the comics, I watched the cartoons when I was a kid.

Matt Lauer: You knew a little bit about this, before you got involved.

Rebecca Romijn: Yes, I did. I wasn't familiar with Mystique, but I knew about Wolverine and Storm. I kind of..., I had boy interview when I was a kid, I was kind of in Starwars, you know, cartoons, all of that.

Matt Lauer: People talk about this as just a comic book, but if you talk to young people about this, they really are firm about the fact that there is a message here.

Rebecca Romijn: There is. I know a lot of people, who were waiting their entire life to this movie to be made. “X-Men” is been around for 48 years and there are a lot of grown people.

Matt Lauer: What do you see as the message?

Rebecca Romijn: It is a message of tolerance and acceptance. Living in a world full of people who are outersized for, because their differences and, you know, the movie is..., it has got a great message. It is for anybody who has ever felt like an outcast.

Matt Lauer: Somebody who feels, too small, too tall, too fat, too ugly...

Rebecca Romijn: And sexual orientation and, you know, racially and you know, a lot of reasons.

Matt Lauer: Tell me about Mystique. Obviously she is good with the .... What should we know about her?

Rebecca Romijn: She is a cameleon. She can shape shift into anybody and she is tricky and manipulative and evil. I think she, I think she is the most, besides Magneto, the most evil out of the brotherhood.

Matt Lauer: She does not have a lot of lines in this movie.

Rebecca Romijn: No, but she gets paid more per word than anyone else.

Matt Lauer: You checked with your agent already?

Rebecca Romijn: Yeah.

Matt Lauer: Were you nervous Rebecca as someone who is going from modeling into acting, when you look at a role like this and you don't get a lot to say, am I being used as set-dressing a little bit?

Rebecca Romijn: I do think, when Mystique does have a huge presence in the movie and she is..., I mean, because she is Mystique, she is mysterious, she doesn't say much, she works fast..., she is a very, very evil character and I think that that does come through. Yeah, I am aware of the stigma of model turned actor and, you know, where I sit in there. It's yeah.., I'm totally aware of that. It's..., but it was a really fun project to be a part of and I didn't have to play the glamour girl. It was fun to play the evil person.

Matt Lauer: Getting into make-up wasn't anything...

Rebecca Romijn: Right.

Matt Lauer: Tell us about this. This takes how long to get in this.., What is it? Latex?

Rebecca Romijn: Yes, silicon prosthetics. It takes 8 to 10 hours to get into every day. Two thirds of my body was covered in these prosthetics and the rest was all painted blue. And it is kind of a..., it is basically a glorified bikini, you should call it. It was the fumes who gave me headaches.

Matt Lauer: It's so sticky that people would lose thing on the set and they find them stuck to your body?

Rebecca Romijn: That's true.

Matt Lauer: Hands and wallets and things like that.

Rebecca Romijn: It is true, yes. That kind of became the running joke on the set. Yeah, it was kind of a pain.

Matt Lauer: What about the eyes, you were wearing like a double set of contact lenses?

Rebecca Romijn: I wore full eye contact lenses that were painted yellow, that was actually very rough on the inside of the lens and thick. And it would scratch my eyeball, so I had to wear another pear underneath to cushen between my eyeball and the yellow lens. And actually the first pair they gave me, Brian Singer, the director, wanna me to have solid yellow eyes, originally and when you don't have a pupil in your lens, you don't see anything.

Matt Lauer: Exactly.

Rebecca Romijn: So the first time they brought me the set, I was completely blind. I have no idea what the initial reaction was to my cast and director. I couldn't see anything.

Matt Lauer: And there was actually an eye doctor around to say there was only a certain amount of time you was allowed to wear these and they had to stop shooting if you came up at that deadline.

Rebecca Romijn: I had only one hour a day I could wear them, so they really only put them in to the close-ups and she was, she was counting and she was timing to the team. Okay, Brian Singer you have got seven minutes left, get to it.

Matt Lauer: Already, the writers are fevorously working on the sequel. You're committed?

Rebecca Romijn: I believe I am.

Matt Lauer: You have two more of these to do.

Rebecca Romijn: Yes.

Matt Lauer: When you hear when this movie made 57 million dollars in its first weekend, do you look back at the contract you signed and thought...

Rebecca Romijn: Well.

Matt Lauer: I could have done a little better here?

Rebecca Romijn: Yeah, I don't get any of it, unfortunately. It is exciting and I am just so happy to be included in a movie that made that kind of money. It is really exciting.

Matt Lauer: It is taking the box office and the nation by storm. You play Mystique and we'll see you two more times in the sequel.

Rebecca Romijn: I hope so.

Matt Lauer: And thanks again for getting up early. We appreciated that and thanks to John.

Rebecca Romijn: Thank you.

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