Ian McKellen, on returning to X Men, meeting old friends and why filming was one big party
Ian McKellen returns to the X-Men series (after The Last Stand), playing the powerful mutant dedicated to protecting his kind, no matter the cost. For the actor, it was a chance to inhabit one of his famous roles again and to spend time with his colleagues from the original three films. ‘‘As long as the people making the film are the same, as long it is the same team, then I hope I would be invited to join along,’’ the star who plays Magneto said recently. McKellen opens up on how Magneto has changed and what the films say to the world:
Was the role easy to reclaim?
Yes, although Magneto’s a bit more temperate in this film. He’s come to a point where he has to do what’s right for everyone, and he realises he needs his allies. But it was easy to get back to playing him—climbing into those clothes and those boots. Bryan Singer was back with us, so that was great, plus some of his old colleagues. It was a bit like going to see family you haven’t seen for a while.
With Bryan returning, it must’ve made it easier?
I’ve done four films with Bryan and he has grown as a director. I’ve always been very happy working with him. He’s a director who knows what he wants and once he sees it on screen, he lets you know he’s got it.
Anything different since the last X-Men film?
The costumes have changed a bit and there’s a new element to the helmet—fans will be able to work out why. But on the whole, no, it felt like just another episode.
X-Men films always have subtext. What does Days of Future Past bring?
X-Men is not just a story about humans with superhuman power that can control the world around them. It’s focussed on people who are cast out by society for what they are. That’s an early thing Bryan said to me, way back in the last century! I think Days of Future Past continues that.
You went to Comic-Con last year. Was it fun?
It was very fast and it can be hard work because they get you tied up with promoting the film, so it’s not really a relaxing time with friends. But it was enjoyable sitting with all those famous faces and, fortunately, we all got on. But making the film was more of a party. And, of course, the reaction from fans was overwhelming.
The movie is scheduled to release on May 23
— Team indulge