Director Matthew Vaughn Reveals that Colin Firth Was Almost in X-Men: First Class
04.12.11 by Ryan
Director Matthew Vaughn has assembled a terrific cast for his upcoming X-Men prequel, X-Men: First Class, that includes James McAvoy as Professor X, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, and Kevin Bacon as the movie's antagonist, Sebastian Shaw. In an interview with Total Film, Vaughn revealed that the role of Shaw was almost played by recent Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King's Speech).
There were only two people I wanted for Shaw. It was between Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon. The reason I thought Firth would be interesting was purely because you've never seen him play a villain and I think he would've done something really special with it. So I said [to the studio] if you're willing to go with a European actor, I want Firth — and if it has to be American, I want Bacon because I think both those guys are such great actors.
The studio obviously went ahead with Bacon as Shaw, a move that Vaughn is pleased with considering what the actor brings to the role, calling him one of the movie's "greatest assets."
Kevin Bacon is one of this film's greatest assets. There's a Bond villain aspect to his performance, all the trappings are there, but he doesn’'t camp it up.
While Firth's potential casting in the same role as Bacon could be seen as a rare fact for "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" trivia enthusiasts, the two actors already co-starred together in the 2005 drama Where the Truth Lies.