James McAvoy Will "Bury" Patrick Stewart's Performance of Prof. X in X-Men: First Class
09.23.10 by BJSprecher
James McAvoy was the first actor cast in director Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class, which is fitting considering his character, Charles Xavier, is the founder of the team of outcast superheroes known as the X-Men. For many movie fans, the role of "Prof. X" will forever be associated with Sir Patrick Stewart, who played the character in all three X-Men movies and even had a cameo as a digitally de-aged Xavier in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However, even though First Class is a prequel to the X-Men franchise, McAvoy recently told MTV that he doesn't feel beholden to emulate the elder actor's take on the character, actually joking that his goal is to "bury Patrick's performance."
I think the fun about these films, when you go back and you either reboot or do a prequel, is you get to see how people became who they are. That means that you have to do them differently and by the end of the movie you have to do them the same way. The interesting journey is what happens to them, what changes them, what makes them evolve — not just mutate, but emotionally and psychologically evolve.
McAvoy confirmed that his Prof. X will have hair and walk, unlike Stewart's bald, wheelchair-bound version. He also conceded that his portrayal of Xavier may begin to evolve into a version reminiscent of Sir Stewart's Xavier by the end of the movie.
I would suggest by the end of the movie and the start of the next movie, it'll be more like what Patrick does. Or maybe not. Maybe it will still be in a period of flux, if there is a next movie.
X-Men: First Class is based on a story idea by producer Bryan Singer, who directed the first two X-Men movies, and was written by Jane Goldman. The ensemble cast includes Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence, Jason Flemying, Oliver Platt, January Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Bill Milner, Morgan Lily, Nicholas Hoult, Caleb Landry Jones, Lucas Till, and Edi Gathegi.