James McAvoy Discusses Professor X's Lack of Baldness, X-Men: First Class Reshoots
01.25.11 by Ryan
Last week, word got out that director Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class was heading for reshoots. While re-shoots aren't uncommon on a big tentpole movie like First Class, the re-shoots still came as a surprise for a movie that only has five months or so before entering theaters. CinemaBlend spoke to James McAvoy about the X-Men prequel re-shoots, with McAvoy downplaying the significance. McAvoy said that a few scenes were being re-shot, including the ending, as well as "just bits and bobs really."
We're doing a tiny little tweak on the very end, finale thing between me and Michael [Fassbender], who plays Magneto. And we’re doing, what else are we doing? It’s all little bits and bobs and things that we dropped or didn’t know we needed or trying to fix a little scene here or there or tighten up a scene here or there. We’re doing a little bit on a boat at one point, which is going to be fun; then a lot of underwater stuff last week, which I can’t really tell you what it’s about, but it’s quite exciting.
McAvoy did reveal that his interpretation of Professor X will be different from the one that Patrick Stewart played in the previous X-Men trilogy. While the Professor was initially supposed to be bald, as he is in the comic books and other movies, but the studio dropped that idea, allowing McAvoy freedom from Stewart's interpretation of the character. "Well f**k it, I’m liberated then," McAvoy said he felt at the time, then revealed how his Professor X won't be a retread of Stewart's.
You look at the kind of main, defining characteristics of Professor X, of Charlie Boy, and you go, "Alright, he’s selfless. He’s a saint. He’s sexless, it seems. He’s egoless. He’s all about other people. He’s all about bettering the world and mutantkind and humankind." And so you kind of try and flip that on its head. You don’t make him an evil person, or anything like that, but you make him ego-driven, women-chasing, he likes a good drink. He’s not the reluctant leader that you kind of want all heroes to be. He actually kind of wants to be in charge, you know what I mean? And all of those things, just to kind of show a journey. So by the end of the movie he’s some way towards becoming Patrick Stewart[‘s version of the character], rather than just having the same guy at the beginning.
McAvoy told Parade that he is "nervous" about his version of Xavier since his and Stewart's "characterizations are very, very different", especially with the new gesture McAvoy has added.
In the comic books, Professor X often has to put his hands to his temples. And I thought, "Well, I'm going to do that." I might be doing Patrick a disservice, but I don't think he did that in the other movies.
McAvoy has previously admitted that his character's superpowers means he had "less stunt work to do" than the other actors, but told The Daily Record that he won't be excluded from fight scenes completely.
Professor X is not too combat-savvy in this film, it has to be said. He doesn't do too much, he's sort of a consultant with the combat guys. But he does get involved in a few little bits of fisticuffs. I wouldn't say that he comes out well but I wouldn't say that he gets his ass kicked either.
X-Men: First Class opens June 3. With Fassbender as Magneto and McAvoy as Professor X, the rest of the mutants include January Jones as Emma Frost, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee, Nicholas Hoult as the Beast,
Lucas Till as Havok, Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore, Edi Gathegi as Darwin and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw.