Cinema Confidential Interview

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Question: Was it still a pain to put on all that body makeup for this role?
Rebecca Romijn: I don't want to be a big whiner because it's such a great thing to be a part of. With that said, it's pretty grueling. The first one it was 8-9 hours every day just to get into it and it's not just that but it's the maintenance, having four women do my costume everyday and having them in your personal space for that many hours a day is crazy. You can go from being perfectly happy and having a nice time to being an evil bitch woman. You can turn on a dime and say 'if one more person stares at me, I'm going to pull my eyes out!' But having Allan [Cumming] there as the other blue person was really great because I was totally by myself on the first one and I felt too isolated. I felt like I was doing a different movie than everyone else. My character didn't even interact with anyone else and on this one I had this other blue person to commiserate with. We were an old bitchy blue married couple.

Question: It's interesting that you should speak of Alan being the other blue guy because of a possible future storyline that is brewing.
RR: Right! Because I'm his mother, which he didn't even know. None of us went into this with any "X-Men" knowledge at all but of course you start in these movies and it all comes to you. We're of course all experts now but I was the one that told Alan that I'm his mother and he's like 'what?' We've made up this whole fake back story and we're hoping that there's an "X3" because we're the only two signed on, I think Hugh [Jackman] is also but an "X3" that will have a flashback of Mystique nursing a little Nightcrawler with Alan's face superimposed on the baby's head with his little sharp teeth teleporting from one breast to the other.

Question: Whose decision was it to do the blue body paint? In the comics she's blue but she wears a white gown.
RR: I don't know whether it was Bryan or the producers but it was made before they even met with me and I'd have to agree with them. If you are a metamorph, clothes kind of get in the way. I've been in denial about the nudity. I'm like, 'No, no, no, I'm fairly covered up guys, I'm totally covered up right?' and they're like, 'No Rebecca, you're naked.' I was hoping that by "X2" they'd be able to do it digitally but I am hoping by "X3" they might. I mean, they could do my eyes. Maybe I won't have to show up for "X3."

Question: Did Bryan Singer offer you a glass of white wine as some point?
RR: Yes he did. He opened up the tent where I was actually literally bent over a chair getting my crack touched up and I turned around and said, 'don't come in here Bryan, you don't need to be seeing this!' and he said, 'ooh, you need some white wine.' He handed me a glass of wine.

Question: You were out of costume for a brief moment in the film, how was that for you?
RR: It's also known as my favorite two days of the entire movie. I wish there had been more.

Question: Aside from the white wine, do you do any types of meditation to relax?
RR: You really have to go into that Zen place while they're doing it as if you're not there. Just take yourself away mentally.

Question: You were really fortunate to get this superhero-type movie with a great director that's managed to make these characters come to life - how does that feel for you?
RR: Not only that, but a smart superhero franchise that has a conscious and a great message. They are really well made movies and I couldn't be happier. I am just thrilled.

Question: There is an incredible range of actors involved as well...
RR: We really like each other and we really enjoy each other's company. It was like a little reunion coming back together again.

Question: Were the challenges in this film different than the first time around?
RR: I was just happy to have more to do and I think they gave my character more dimension and you see her more sexual side and sense of humor. She's a little misunderstood and I was also impressed that for such a huge cast, they gave us all action over-the-top kick-ass stuff but also good 'moments' with meaningful stuff to do. The most challenging part is the makeup because it's just such a fragile costume. It's literally disintegrating as soon as it's finished so they are constantly touching you up. If you have an hour till the next setup you have to go back to your trailer and decide do I want to lie down, take a nap and have to endure another half hour of touching up or do I want to just sit here like a stone.

Question: The scale of the movie was so much bigger than the first one, was there a sense of that on set?
RR: I think we all came back with a little more confidence because we didn't know what we were doing first time around. I think Bryan did obviously and the producers but you read all those special effects and all of the action and you have no idea what it's going to look like. We all went to the screening of the first one and looked at each other and went 'wow, that's not bad, it came together.' On this one, we knew how everything looked; we knew the tone and what these movies are about. We were all just that more confident and eager to get back to it.

Question: Were you also scared about the avid fans on the first one as well?
RR: That's true, you don't want to let anybody down and here are millions of people who've been waiting for their favorite characters to be brought to life and you don't want to disappoint. So we defiantly felt the pressure and we were all on the internet every day reading up on everybody complaining about the makeup, the costumes, the acting, and getting angry at the filmmakers for whatever. We were totally aware of it and we felt the pressure.

Question: Were you pleased with the reaction?
RR: We were pleased with the reaction and to a certain extent we've updated the characters a little bit and as an actor you do have to take artistic liberties and hope that you're not going to let anybody down. It's also cool that at the end of the day you are the ones who get to bring these characters to life for the first time and think of someone like Ben Kingsley playing Gandhi for the rest of his life. I think 'wow, I get to be Mystique for the rest of my life.'

Question: How is it being a mythic character? The only one in this cast that's had the experience has been Patrick Stewart.
RR: I think we felt the pressure more at first than this time around. But still you don't want to let anyone down. I never even met Patrick until we had a Christmas party at Ian McKellen's house on the first movie and then I didn't see him again until the premiere. We had nothing to do together in the first movie so we were never together on the same day. And again on this one we were never together on the same day but we went out to dinner a few times with the cast.

Question: There have been rumors about a difficult incident on the set with Bryan Singer; do you have any response to that?
RR: I think you are referring to something that was in the news. I actually wasn't there the day that happened. I read it just like you did. The thing is that he's a brilliant filmmaker and he made a brilliant movie and you got to do what you got to do to make a brilliant movie I guess. I don't know exactly know what happened so I don't want to comment on it and plus I have to work with him on "X3" and he's a really good friend of mine.

Question: Looking at the completed film, were there any parts that stuck out at you?
RR: I think that my exchange with Nightcrawler out in the campground was sort of the backbone of what the theme behind the X-Men is. That's what the message is all about, about tolerance and taking in pride in differences and not trying to blend in.

Question: You're voice is messed with digitally, how was that for you to listen to?
RR: They definitely messed with it more on the first one than on this one. I think with this one it's a little more realistic sounding but it's supposed to sound like several different people because she morphs into several different people.

Question: Did you have to wear those contacts again?
RR: I didn't have to wear them on this one. I had to wear them on the first one and I couldn't see on the first one and it's really hard to kick ass when you can't see the ass you're trying to kick. They did that in post production this time but Alan had to wear his and I said 'it's the right of passage, next time there'll be a new kid and he'll have to wear his.'

Original article: Cinecon.com

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