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James McAvoy and Nicholas Hoult Talk X-Men: Apocalypse

May 24, 2016

By: Lynn Barker

In X-Men: Apocalypse, the X-Men must again fight their own inner demons while trying to cooperate to save us all from Apocalypse, not the event, the guy.  Seems he was the first mutant and he’s immortal….well, he moves his consciousness to a new bod every time he feels a little worn out. Must be nice!

Raven / Mystique, Moira MacTaggert, Xavier, Havok, Hank McCoy / BeastRaven / Mystique, Moira MacTaggert, Xavier, Havok, Hank McCoy / BeastCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

James McAvoy (Charles Xavier) fills us in on the history of arch villain Apocalypse while cute Nicholas Hoult (Hank McCoy/Beast) tells us about falling asleep on the X-Jet set and what is up with The Four Horsemen: Storm (Famine), Magneto (War), Archangel (Death) and Psylocke (Pestilence). How jolly! Check it out. First we’ll talk to James.

Q: Why do you enjoy playing Charles so much?

  • James: The main reason I enjoy playing Charles is because he has empathy. He has this huge capacity for love and to care for others. And, what is fun is when you challenge that so by the end of this movie, that is definitely challenged.

Q: So Hank McCoy runs the school with Xavier. Is that more fulfilling for them than being X-Men?

  • James: He and Hank run this school for gifted people, generally children. They are this odd couple that run this school in an amazing old building. I think if Eric didn’t come along, if Apocalypse didn’t come and Raven didn’t come sashaying into their lives, I think they’d be happy to live out the rest of their days being teachers and nurturing these young minds and souls. However, the real world doesn’t let them do that

James as XavierJames as XavierCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: How does Xavier look in this film…bald? Hair? How has he changed generally?

  • James: He’s still got long hair in this movie. We tried to shoot everything with hair before we shave it all off. He’s not a junkie anymore and he’s accepted his responsibility and his power again. I think the thing he couldn’t deal with in the last movie was the fact that the voices were overwhelming but their sadness reminded him of his own loss. He’s gotten beyond that now and is really optimistic.

Bald XavierBald XavierCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: What do you like about X-Men movies and particularly this one?

  • James: A lot of times in X-Men movies, we’re fighting ourselves and we’re fighting politics and discrimination and oppression and misunderstanding of people from different backgrounds. That’s what I love about X-Men and we’ve got all that in this movie because we are still fighting ourselves, still fighting our natures and still fighting to accept ourselves, never mind how other humans feel about us.

Q: How does the villain Apocalypse get his powers?

  • James: He’s lived for a gazillion years and he has rejuvenated himself throughout that time by taking the bodies of others. He doesn’t live all that time but he puts his consciousness and abilities into the bodies of others, of mutants each time his old body is dying. Each time he does that he absorbs the power of that mutant so he’s got a billion different superpowers. The one power he’s never come across in mind control and for a megalomaniac who wants to dominate the entire world, it’s a pretty attractive prospect.

Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac)Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac)Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: Does Charles still have any relationship with the Moira character?

  • James: She can’t even remember me because at the end of “First Class”, I wiped her memory so she’s got no recollection of me whatsoever. She has, in the interim, found out about me and the school and she’s fascinated by it because she has this burning desire to find out about mutants. That’s because of who she is or I suspect it is because of some little gem of knowledge inside her that is bursting to grow and remind her of all the things I took from her. I have to go to her. She’s gotten onto something in downtown Cairo that is going to lead to the emergence of Apocalypse. I find this out so I decide I need to go and see her.

StormStormCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: And his relationship with Mystique?

  • James: After what happened in Washington in “Future Past”, she became the poster girl for a whole new species. She became the heroine for that moment was on posters all over the world saying she’s the one who saved the President. She’s the one who can do justice to this brave new world of people with powers. She lived that role for a couple of years but then saw through that façade and thought people are still being abused and hurt and torn away from their families simply because they’re mutants so she decided to throw off that cloak and reject that mantle and go back to traveling incognito and help where she could on a smaller scale. What brings her out of that is when she finds out what happened to Eric.

Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence)Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence)Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: What is special about X-Men movies compared to all the other superhero films out there?

  • James: What I think is special about X-Men movies is the emotional drive and content that is found within the relationships in the movie. There are often quite adult, mature relationships even when it is the younger cast members playing those characters. It’s often quite mature and real world stuff they are dealing with. Hopefully fans will also get some bang for their buck and good blockbuster action and fun…which I love too!

X-Men: Apocalypse | Final Trailer


And on to Nicolas Hoult – Hank McCoy – Beast

Q: Nicholas, talk about your character’s relationship with Raven (Mystique) who turns up again.

  • Nicolas: Well, Raven turns up at the house and it’s been ten years since Hank has seen her. Obviously a shock. He doesn’t know how to handle himself as always when he’s around her. He sees it as an opportunity to get her on his side to convince Charles that the X-Men are necessary and to have this unit that can go out, fight and protect. She has different plans because she’s turned up with Kurt Wagner the new Nightcrawler played by great actor Kodi-Smitt McPhee.

Nicholas HoultNicholas HoultCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: What other character relationships develop?

  • Nicholas: In this film we have Scott Summers also known as Cyclops played by Tye Sheridan. When you first meet Scott in this movie, he is discovering his superpower but can’t control it so he’s in a bit of a pickle and Hank has to develop these glasses so that he can control his powers.

CyclopsCyclopsCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: Who else is added to the cast? The Four Horsemen?

  • Nicholas: You have Ben Hardy playing Angel and you kind of have two forms of Angel in this movie. You have standard angel and then Apocalypse Arc Angel when his wings turn metal and he can fire blades and do all sort of cool stuff. We have Olivia Munn playing Psylocke who has a big blade hand that can cut through stuff. I don’t fully understand what it’s made of but she can grow blades. There is Alex Shipp who is playing Storm who, as we know from other X-Men movies, ends up being part of the other team and she is recruited by Apocalypse in this movie to help clean up.

Nicholas as BeastNicholas as BeastCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: Talk about Magneto in this film.

  • Nicholas: Ah Magneto, Michael Fassbender. When you first meet him in this movie he is happy as well. He has found some peace. He has a wife and child and is kind of hiding his powers and living a normal life. Then, when something goes wrong at the factory he is working at, he tries to do the noble thing and save someone but then people recognize he has superpowers and aren’t happy about having a mutant amongst them so they turn up at his house and there is this horrible scene that sparks rage in him again and he goes on a revenge mission.

MagnetoMagnetoCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: This is a huge scale film. Do the sets help you as an actor?

  • Nicholas: it’s huge. We all end up in Cairo around pyramids fighting. The sets are incredible and it always helps you as an actor to have a good set to work on. The one I’ve been most impressed with, strangely, so far, is the mansion set.

PsylockePsylockeCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: How about costumes and make-up?

  • Nicholas: Louise (Mengenbach) is fantastic. She’s such a phenomenal costume designer. I’m dressed in baggy ‘80’s suits and clothes and I’ve got cool socks as well and a great ‘80’s Casio calculator watch. She’s great at making our costumes work for the era but also our mutant suits, the Beast one I wear as well. We all end up in a couple of different outfits in this, kind of a battle suit at one point and at the end of the movie, you get to see the beginning of the classic X-Men outfits.
  • In terms of Beast make-up I have a new muscle suit which is lighter weight thankfully so it’s not so hot but it’s a very similar style make-up to the last movie. I sat there every morning and we’d chat and listen to music for a couple of hours and they’d stick it on my face. People say that the mask is moving better in this film. The rubber they are using is softer so it’s easy to be more expressive with it which is useful for me.

NightcrawlerNightcrawlerCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: We hear you and Rose Byrne have something special you do on the X-Jet set?

  • Nicholas: (laughs) Well the gimbals (that move the jet around on set) are quite fun. It’s like being on a ride at a theme park. It will throw you around. Rose has really bad motion sickness so I don’t think it’s such a treat for her. We sit in the front of the jet and I’ll look over and Rose will be like (looking like she might hurl) but she handles it like an absolute champ… when she’s awake. We both spend a lot of time sleeping in the jet. A lot of times a scene will be happening behind us and you won’t be able to see us so we get tired and are out cold before you know it. We’d get woken up by “cut” or “action”.

X-Men: Apocalypse PosterX-Men: Apocalypse PosterCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

X-Men: Apocalypse is in theaters now!

Have Your Say

Are you a fan of X-Men films? Do you like that they are now concentrating a lot on the younger X-Men cast?  Lay down a comment!