UGO Interviews Professor Xavier

"I think the earliest movie I've seen of his is Dune [released in 1984]; that character and all of his since then have been bald. Personally, I think he should strike out and play a character that's not bald, but it's hard to get around typecasting."

If you have a character that's bald and likes to boss people around, then Patrick Stewart is your man.

I think the earliest movie I've seen of his is Dune [released in 1984]; that character and all of his since then have been bald. Personally, I think he should strike out and play a character that's not bald, but it's hard to get around typecasting.

X-Men 2 is the second-best comic book adaptation ever. Every single character is given his or her own moment to shine. I am not going to divulge one iota of information, because by Crom, I am not going to ruin anyone's experience. Though it is cool when Galactus eats Eart…. Whoops! Almost let one slip.


UGO: When Professor Xavier mentally froze everyone in the museum, I think we finally got a glimpse of just how powerful he is.

Patrick Stewart: Yes, we did get some glimpses of it. There is so much more to him, though.

UGO: Do you have to make yourself believe that you are that powerful?

PS: Um…yes. I wasn't sure that the audience would get that Xavier had done it. We even added a line from me off-camera to make it clear. It is nice to see that this guy, who is considered a super mutant, does a super feat. I did spend a lot of the first movie, as I do the second, helpless in the clutches of others. That was a little disappointing.

UGO: That used to happen all the time in the comic. Because Xavier is so powerful, a villain would knock him out for a few issues so he wouldn't just knock the whole enemy team out.

PS: Yes, they did [laughs]. I'm looking forward to flying around in the floating wheelchair.

UGO: To what extent did you research the role?

PS: To some extent. It's nice when your research involves nothing more than reading comic books. [For the play Master Builder] I am reading Michael Meyers' biography of Henrik Ibsen. It's guaranteed to put you to sleep. I knew nothing about the X-Men. Lauren Shuler Donner called me into her office one day while I was doing ADR for one of [her husband] Richard Donner's movies [Conspiracy Theory, released in 1997]. She asked me what I knew about X-Men. I said, "You mean X-Files?" "No, X-Men," she said, and she pulled out an issue, and there was me on the cover. I was intrigued. I didn't think the studio would make the commitment to me because we were still shooting the Star Trek movies. I actually resisted a bit because of all the Star Trek baggage, and Bryan [Singer] insisted the baggage was important. Once we got underway, they delivered comic books to my house.

UGO: X2 is great, because it works for the diehard fans and those that just saw the first movie.

PS: Yes, it does. You don't have to read the comics. I had this feeling that the first movie was a very expensive trailer.

UGO: When the first movie came out, you had said in some interviews that X-Men is bigger than Star Trek.

PS: It strikes me that X-Men does still have a different fanbase than Star Trek. It's huge, but it's probably a more refined and narrower fanbase. The backstories are much more significant in X-Men than in Star Trek. On Trek, we were making stuff up as we went along. Maybe another difference is the gender and age are different. Star Trek really covers both genders, all ages, and it's everywhere, whereas comic books seem to be mostly men.

Women like the movies because of Hugh Jackman and James Marsden.

UGO: During shooting of X2, there were a lot of rumors floating around, like about fights on set.

PS: Fights? Don't believe everything you read.

UGO: So Bryan didn't take a pill that made him woozy on set?

PS: I…I have no idea what Bryan did or did not take. Bryan has a nasty and unpleasant back problem. He was in a lot of pain during the shooting of both X-Men movies. But what he's taking, I don't know.

UGO: After the last Star Trek movie didn't do well at all, what do you plan to do?

PS: I want to do more work like I did before Star Trek. At times, filming is frustrating, and you don't always end up with what you thought you had at the beginning.

[Points to my Transmetropolitan trade paperback] I see what you have there

UGO: That's right. I want to hear about the phone conversations you've had with Warren Ellis.

PS: Ah, Warren. A great guy. What a brilliant piece of work that is. We are not doing too well moving that project along. We keep talking, and he's a friend.

UGO: When we spoke last time about Star Trek, you said that, right now, you seem to be stuck in these leader roles, and how you used to play all the insane characters in the theater. Playing Spider Jerusalem [the lead character in Transmetropolitan] would be like doing that again.

PS: He belongs exactly to that world. Spider is a wonderful character. Someone, someday, will realize what Warren has there. It's tough material. It's not middle of the road. A lot of studios would be very nervous about putting Spider on the screen. Unfortunately, dealing with his world is expensive, which is why we were so attracted of doing an animated series.

UGO: Is there going to be a third X-Men movie?

PS: I'm told there is, but they haven't signed me yet.

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