Michael Fassbender Discusses X-Men: First Class and Magneto's Comic Book Costume
01.19.11 by BJSprecher
Michael Fassbender, who plays the X-Men's most powerful enemy, Magneto, recently revealed in an interview with MSN that the "Master of Magnetism" will indeed wear the signature red-and-purple costume that Magneto is famous for, complete with helmet.
As for our costumes, we went back and forth on so many things. We added things that worked in the comics, took them away again, and stripped them down again.... When it came to the Magneto suit, you know, there's various stages of what has been done with it, but you will have something that is traditional to the comics. There is a helmet, which is of course essential to keep Charlie-boy [Charles "Prof. X" Xavier (James McAvoy), the founder of the X-Men and a powerful telepath] out of my head, and the colors are also kept traditional to the comics, that sort of red and purple. I don't know if I'm giving you too much, but I'll say it anyway.
Fassbender admitted that he didn't know much about the characters or the world that the X-Men inhabit prior to signing on for the movie, but that he did his fair share of research (i.e., reading comic books) after he got the part.
I got knee-deep into [the X-Men comic books] once I got involved. That was all my source material, because it's all there in the comic books in terms of a backstory and formulating the character. I did also watch the other films and took notes from those, but took most of my references from the comic books.
Fassbender said that what enticed him to take on the role of Erik "Magneto" Lehnsherr was that the character is much more complex than your average villain.
He's such a complex character, really, and the idea of him being a villain is interesting considering his history (Lehnsherr is a Holocaust survivor who lost his family in the camps, and later lost his wife and daughter) ... he's a very solitary individual, and the pain and grief that's gone on even before we meet him in this film is an interesting pool of information to draw from, in coming up with this Machiavellian character for whom the ends justified the means. You can see where he's coming from. Human beings don't have the greatest track record in what they've done throughout history, so his point of view is, "Well, we are the next stage of evolution—(humans) are to us what Neanderthals were to Homo sapiens."
Many have questioned whether or not the large cast of X-Men: First Class will hinder the story, but Fassbender said that the characters may be many and varied, but that their common experience as "freaks and outcasts" helps to unite the story.
The cool thing about this movie is that I think it does deal with each individual mutant, and the ones they've chosen are all very much individuals and unique personalities with unique gifts. What's interesting is that we've gone back to a period where the mutants don't know that there are other people out there like them. They just think they're freaks and outcasts from society ... all of these new characters are fearful of their gifts and uncomfortable and misplaced in society, so hopefully when they all sort of come together and realize they're not alone and feel more comfortable in their own skin, that's a discovery for all the characters that you experience.
X-Men: First Class was written by Jane Goldman from an idea conceived by Bryan Singer, director of the first two X-Men installments, who is also producing the movie. The cast includes Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee, January Jones as Emma Frost, Lucas Till as Havok, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Jason Flemying as Azazel, and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw.