Femmes Fatales Interview

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Question: You're one of the most beautiful women in the world, so how does it feel to play what is essentially a monster in X-Men and X2?
Rebecca Romijn: A monster? She's a mutant! And she's a supervillain, which to me, is so cool. It's so cool that the audience has really responded to this character, and they really made her quite a presence in the second one. She's a very sexy character, and I made her much more of a sexual predator with a real sense of humor. It makes sense to me: The whole premise behind X-Men has this very socially relevant message about being ostracized and feeling different, and it appeals to anyone who's ever felt different, which is why I think people respond to X-Men so much. Mystique is this angry character who has this real reason for being angry, so there's this whole raison d'etre - she has a definite reason for being there.

Question:What's different about this movie?
Rebecca: The movie itself is head and shoulders above the last one. As good as the last one was, this one is just colossal, and it's great. I haven't even seen the final cut, but I was looping and just the scenes I've seen are mindblowing. Technology moves so quickly, and special-effects-wise it just looks so much better than the last one.

Question: The makeup supposedly drove you nuts on the first X-Men. Was it any easier to deal with this time around?
Rebecca: They definitely improved the makeup process, which was a drag the first time around. I didn't have to wear [the yellow] contact lenses this time, which was a huge plus. They're doing that digitally, to which I said, "Why can't they do all of it digitally?" I'm waiting for them to get to the point where they just do everything digitally - maybe for X3. We had Alan Cumming in this one, who also plays a blue person, so we got to commiserate and bitch and moan together.

Question: Is it true they got you drunk once while shooting the first X-Men just to take the edge off?
Rebecca: They didn't get me drunk, I was just celebrating on the last night of shooting - doing shots of tequilla - and the comibination of the booze and the fumes [from the makeup] was not good.

Question: How has your role expanded in the sequel?
Rebecca: This time around, the brotherhood of evil and the X-Men have to team up to fight a common enemy, and the usual tensions still exist, so there's all this personal stuff happening inside the camp. We got to do a lot of fun stuff. The first time around I never even saw Patrick Stewart on the set. This time we all got to be together and we were all pals. It was great.

Question: Is Mystique redeemed in this movie?
Rebecca: I don't think she ever lost any of her integrity. Any time you play a character, including villains, as the actor you have to justify why they do what they do. To me it makes sense why she's so angry; she's been ostracized her whole life. There's no lack of redemption there.

Question: Tell me about working on Godsend with Robert DeNiro
I finished X2 and went straight in to that, and it's a much smaller movie. It was like the opposite of doing X-Men, because it was a very small set with DeNiro and Greg Kinnear. It investigates the ethical side of cloning, but on a very personal level. It was great because I got to play a mom and I didn't have to do hair and makeup every day. I could just do honest work.

Question: What do you like to do when you're not working?
Rebecca: I hike with my dog every morning because I live up in the mountains, I run around, shop and read. Right now I'm reading Kurt Vonnegut's "Timequake." I love Vonnegut, Tom Robbins - I love anything that's twisted.

Original article: Femme Fatales 05/2003

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