How similar is your version of Sebastian Shaw to the comics version?
The main difference between Shaw in the comics and the character I play is the way he looks – he's just physically nothing like me! But the essence of the comics character is there. I based him on directly on all the comic book research I did.
You've tackled many interesting and diverse roles in your career. What made you decide to take on the role of Shaw?
It was a very quick decision. I loved the script, I wanted to work with Matthew Vaughn, it was a great part, and the cast is very strong.
Along with Magneto, Shaw is one of the most interesting villains of the X universe, but until now the character was unexplored in the movies. How have you made this role your own?
Shaw is complex, and his backstory is fascinating. And he is a manipulator. One specific piece of direction from Matthew Vaughn really defined the character for me: Shaw can change who he is depending on who he's dealing with. He has those kinds of personal communication skills. That made him fun to play; in one scene he can be a German; in another, a Russian.
How much research did you do to prepare for the role?
The first thing that happens is that Marvel gives you a stack of everything that's been written through history about your on-screen character. That's a great jumping off point. And then it just kind of expands from there.
What or who was biggest influence for you in playing this role?
I saw Shaw as kind of a combination of Hugh Hefner, Donald Trump, and Ted Turner. Of course, I'm not saying those gentlemen are evil…
Who is your favorite character in X-Men universe?
Wolverine; he's a fascinating kind of anti-hero.
<In the comics, Sebastian is very physical and gets to throw down a lot. Do we get to see Shaw in combat in the movie?
This was actually one of the lightest movies in terms of stunts, I've ever done. Shaw is so powerful he just has to flick his wrist to inflict major damage.
Are you like Shaw, in the way that after you get hit, you get stronger?
Sure, I'll go with that!
Are there romantic ties between Shaw and Emma Frost?
Emma has feelings for Shaw, and he has feelings… for his plans. And to the extent that she's helpful to Shaw, he will be with her.
How politically connected is Shaw in the film?
Shaw is very connected; he's literally all over the map – he's working the Russians and the Americans to start the Cuban missile crisis and World War III.
What is the one thing you would tell your fans that they should look forward to in the film?
It's an emotional film. Sure, if you like superhero films, big special effects, and **** blowing up, you'll love it. You'll also love it if you like films about strong relationships, love, jealousy and sex!
Angel Salvadore is not a very popular character. Why was she chosen instead of some of the more popular mutants?
It seems to me, like a mutant is a mutant, and no matter where they come from, they will still have similar struggles. So I like that Matthew picked mutants that he thought would fit together to create his vision.
Will Angel be more akin to an insect as in the comics or were some of her more fly-like traits (laying eggs, acid vomit) discarded for a more "realistic" feel?
In all honesty I didn't have to do too much "comic-wise" myself. When I got to London I was provided with every comic she had ever been in.
Ok I have to ask, will we see you lay eggs in this movie? If so, please elaborate on the subject at hand.
There is no egg laying...yet...but she does have her acid vomit in this film!
What was the toughest challenge you had to face in preparing yourself for the role of Angel Salvadore?
Getting into shape to do all of the wire work for the flying around. The rest was quite easy but I found that I identified with Angel very much.
When playing the character, aside from the less than glamorous powers, is there anything about Angel you can somewhat relate to?
I relate to almost everything about it. Being a strong independent woman is a challenge. Especially when there are things about yourself that you don't love, and make you feel insecure. I think it's great to see how Angel comes into her own, and becomes more and more comfortable in her own skin. We all have moments of self-loathing, but when we are able to rise to any occasion despite that, is when we are the strongest.
Do the young characters like yours have their own part in the story? Or are you sacrificed for the Xavier/Magneto story?
Yes we do!
<Are we going to see any of Beak in the film, or at least any love interest for our darling Angel?
No Beak this time, and no real love interest! I think she's still just trying to love herself at this point in her life.
Are you in fight scenes in the movie?
I do have a really great fight scene with Banshee in the film. A lot of fun!!!
Did you do your own stunts for the role?
I did as many as they could allow me to do. There were a few that were a bit too dangerous, but for the most part, yes.
Before you were cast, were you a fan of the X-Men universe?
I was never much of a comic reader and had seen one of the films, but I was very much aware of the X-Men because I had so many friends that were huge fans! Now obviously I know a lot about them and love them!