IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Lucas Till Talks 'X-Men: First Class'

Friday, 09 September 2011 12:16 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Lucas Till Talks 'X-Men: First Class'

At the young age of twenty-one actor Lucas Till has already compiled an impressive resume of film work in movies such as Walk the Line, Hanna Montana: The Movie, The Spy Next Door, and Battle: Los Angeles. But it was his role as the energy-wielding mutant Havok in this past summer’s hit super hero film X-Men: First Class that has put the talented actor in the spotlight.

In the movie, which is a prequel to the original series, Till plays Alex Summers, the brother of X-Men leader Scott Summers (Cyclops), who was played by actor James Marsden in the first three films. While Havok was mostly portrayed as a hero in the comics there has always been an edge to the character and he quite often bumps heads with his older brother. In X-Men: First Class, Alex Summers is recruited by a young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) to join his team of heroic mutants along with Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Beast (Nicolas Hoult), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), and Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones). The movie was directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) and based on a story by executive producer Bryan Singer who directed the first two films in the franchise. So far the film has gone on to earn over $350 million worldwide.

IAR had an opportunity to attend an event at the 20th Century Fox lot on Wednesday to celebrate the release of the film on Blu-ray and DVD, which is available today, September 9th. After the presentation, I had a chance to sit down and speak with actor Lucas Till about X-Men: First Class. We discussed the film, the research he did for his role, how he feels about Cyclops, Bryan Singer’s presence on the set, and what he would like to see his character doing in a possible sequel. Here is what he had to say:

To begin with, were you a fan of the previous X-Men films or the comic books before you were cast in First Class?

Lucas Till: I was a fan of the animated series because that came out in ’92 so ever since I was a kid I’ve been watching X-Men. Then obviously the movies but I had never read a comic until after I saw the films. Then there was a guy and his sole job on the set was to just give us binders filled with like twelve hundred pages of comics about our characters. But he was so well versed that in a couple of hours he could say, you’re Mystique, here are the critical moments compiled into one. He was really good at his job.

Did you ask him a lot of questions about your character and was it helpful for you to have him on the set?

Till: Yeah, I would just ask him and he would give me the answer. He was an encyclopedia of X-Men cannon, or any comic book really. I’d ask him a specific question, and he’d be more than happy to answer it, but then he’d go off on three tangents. He’d talk about Mr. Sinister and why he likes what they’ve done with the franchise but wishes that Mr. Sinister was in it.

What’s the most important thing you learned from your research that helped you play the role of Havok?

Till: It definitely helped but it was written the way it was already so there were a lot of things that I was trying to put in my head. Little throwbacks like really trying to hit it off with Edi (Gathegi) because I know Havok and Darwin hit it off later in the comics. The movie is definitely different than what happens in the comics but for the fans, and myself I want to throw those in there. But also because I can’t be angry the entire time and Havok’s always been a pretty charming dude. He’s a charismatic dude but he is a rogue and on his own because he is a liability. So there are a lot of things going on but it is pretty well written.

Because you ultimately know where the character is going from the comics, do you have to be careful to not foreshadow too much?

Till: Exactly, so I was okay coming across looking hormonal in some of the scenes.

Since Havok and Cyclops are brothers, did you look at James Marsden’s performance in the original films at all for inspiration?

Till: No. (Rolling his eyes) Not that I thought his performance was bad but I’ve never liked Cyclops … ever!

That plays perfectly into your character because in the comics Alex Summers doesn’t like his brother Scott either.

Till: Yeah, so that works out well.

Did wearing the costume help you feel like a super hero?

Till: Yeah I’ve always liked the costume part of any job I work on because if I don’t feel like I’m playing a role correctly then I’ll get in that costume and it adds a whole level. How important is that on a movie like this? You have to really feel like a super hero and I did. There were a bunch of different suits because I would do a camera test and they would have a brand new suit every time. They had different styles, one was a full biker suit, another was more military but it was such a neat thing to see the process of them making the X suits. I was so happy that it was the classic blue and yellow so that’s cool.

In a possible sequel, what direction would you like to see your character Havok go in?

Till: I always try to plan things and then they go completely wrong but then end up better than I expected if I had just trusted the people who know exactly what they are doing. So I don’t really care. I know whatever happens I will be fine. I would definitely like to say that whether it is out of my forehead or my freaking hands I would like Hank to make Havok something so he can shoot the energy out of his hands instead of the chest piece. If you think about it I’m kind of scrunched down, tensed up … I look constipated! I did my best not to look like that, or like I was playing hula-hoops. But I’d like a little more focus on the hands, I’ve always wanted to do that.

Finally, what was it like to have Bryan Singer, the man who created the original franchise, on the set?

Till: That was pretty cool because he started the series. These movies are legends already and now they are introducing us to a whole new generation. But I never thought of it that way before, that’s kind of heavy and a lot of pressure. 

X-Men: First Class is available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning today!

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