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Set Visit Interview: Talking with the New Cast Members of 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

– by Fernando Esquivel

On day two of out set visit, we were transported about forty five minutes outside of Montreal to an area with lots of trees and green fields. This is the location of the mansion. With large green screens propped up everywhere, it is evident that something has gone wrong at the school.

The scene we are witnessing involves Jubilee, Nightcrawler, Cyclops and Jean coming home from the mall back to the Mansion. With about fifty extras standing in as mutant sutdents, they are surrounded by Beast, Quicksilver, and Raven. Below is what the new cast members had to say about coming into the X-Men franchise and their takes on their characters.

We speak with Olivia Munn (Psylocke), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Ty Sheridan (Cyclops), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler) and Lana Condor (Jubilee).

 

Warning there might be plot spoilers below.

 

'Taking Psylocke with Olivia Munn'

People made photos of you as Psylocke before hand.

Olivia Munn: Yeah that was a cool thing that I actually didn't even ... obviously being on the talk of the show you know there's a lot of fan art and stuff like that. When I got this ... I got it before it was even out and I was just looking at Psylocke and all of a sudden I just start seeing pictures of me. I was like that's either like really creepy or serendipitous.

What was your reaction when your first saw yourself in costume?

Olivia Munn: You know, it was a building process. Well the first time I ever saw myself in costume was when my head was photoshopped onto what everybody together decides what the costume should look like. It's like an art picture of here's what we think Psy's going to look like. There's my head, I was like oh you were going to want me to work out more than I do. My first thought was it has to be purple. We were going up against time and making it, and it was black. The latex is in black and then all the armor is in black, it's just easier. I was like you got to make it purple. When I first say myself completely put together, it's just this very nerdy, cool dream. It's like whoa. Looking at it it doesn't really seem real. 

It's actually surreal just how close to the comic book it is. One of the most loyal adaptions I've seen. Would you mind just showing us the sword like, will you provide any trivia or detail about them?

Olivia Munn: Well, I can show you a little bit of stuff. This is my practice sword. I asked them to make me one. I have a picture somewhere of my entire left or right side's bruised up because I just kept hitting myself. When I would hit the wall, this metal would break and then it would just become a knife. I was cutting myself up and they gave me this one instead. 

Can you tell us about your version of Psylocke? 

Olivia Munn: Well, I've loved Psylocke ... We now know the story of Apocalypse and the Four Horsemen. They had come ... I think Oscar's talked about that Apocalypse is kind of like the cult leader in a way. With in a cult there's the different religious part, and there's like the angelic part, and the child like part, and there's a sexual part. I got it. I got the world from that perspective in a general way. To me I said I know that you know Psylocke is dressed very sexually. Out of all the costumes it's really revealing. It's important to know that she always had substantive plot lines. You have to do her justice because she's dressed like that, she's not this promiscuous, slutty girl that you know ... In fact, Apocalypse is the only one who trusts her. Gave her that outfit. She went to university. She had a good family and she has these really amazing powers that I think a lot of people want to be able to read people's minds and then create anything with your mind. Psylocke had always, and in the comics, had been looking for a leader, looking for guidance, looking for purpose and her righteous purpose in life. She's somebody who's just looking for her righteous purpose. Right now that's why she is one of the bad guys.

What powers does Psylocke have? What can she do in the movie?

Olivia Munn: Psylocke is telepathic and telekinetic. In the movie we see her being a telekinetic. We don't see her being telepathic. It's a decision because this is the first time we've really been able to see the character of Psylocke and have her really, truly exist in a movie. There's just so much going on especially with Apocalypse's power then trying to take on all of the X-men. When you are telepathic, I feel that it's a power you want to hold close to your chest. It's a card that you don't want a lot of people to know about. It's so much more powerful when people don't know that you have this power. It's fun because we're definitely have moments of that where some of my fight scenes that I have where I'm able to go after them quickly because I'm already assessing what they're going to do. They don't know that I have that ability. We don't address it. She definitely has telekinetic. We create the sword and some other things, but the telepathy is incorporated in our decisions and everything that we're doing. Somebody might say what's going on or my character might ask the question but she already knows the answer. We've already thought about that. It's more of something for the fans to be able to know like that's a cool moment because if you can kind of see that you're one step ahead with her. 

Now Deadpool's getting his own movie Gambit is getting his own movie ... If somehow a Psylocke movie is there any specific comic books story you would like to see play out on screen?

Olivia Munn: I think if Psylocke had a chance to tell her story it would be great to start with the genesis and having an understanding. I think maybe right as she's like getting out of university and before her whole family ... we jump in right before all of her family is taken out. We have an understanding of what she had to lose. Then, her figuring out her powers and how powerful she is. I think that would be a great thing to. She came from a good family and lost everything. I would just like to tell that story.

 

'Talking Storm with Alexandra Shipp' 

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Alex can you tell us a bit about this storm?

Alexandra Shipp: My Storm is the past derivative of Halle's Storm but this Storm is a little bit different because you're meeting her in Cairo. You're seeing kind of where she comes from and you're seeing all the pain that she's gone through. She's so different from all of the other kids because they come from families, they come from some sort of love and support where Storm hasn't had that since her parents died in that plane crash at her house when she was five. She's all messed up and the only mutants she knows are all really bad mutants. The ones that use their powers for stealing or protecting thugs. She's in survival mode, so when she meets Apocalypse she hits a revelation where she has been struggling to fit in somewhere. This extremely powerful being comes to her and says "I'm what you've been waiting for, I'll take care of you". For her it just clicks, she doesn't know anything about the X-Men. They only thing she knows is about Mystic when she saved the president. I don't see her as a bad person or mutant, she doesn't know she's a villain. Storm's powers also haven't come into fruition. It's a little bit different then Halle, so I wanted to keep that distance from her character. 

Can you talk about your outfit?

Alexandra Shipp: I'm wearing my Horseman outfit, so you will see a lot of similarities between mine, Angle, and Magneto's outfits. They stay really true to Psylocke so she doesn't have the specific chest plates. I do have the iconic connect at the arms cape. Magneto and I are the only ones with capes.  

Are you excited about the mohawk?

Alexandra Shipp: I'm excited about it. They weren't too sure at first and then they said they would let us know. Three months beforehand we just shaved it and they shaved the whole thing and they glued the wig on with cream.

Are you doing an accent on this film?

Alexandra Shipp: Yes, I'm doing a Kenyan accent and I also speak Arabic in the film. 

Do you have a moment with Apocalypse where he gives you your suit or a special power?

Alexandra Shipp: Yes, in my first opening scene you see me in Cairo and he's speaking an ancient language because he just woke up and I'm speaking Arabic and I'm trying to communicate with him. Then he has this moment where he figures out where he is and what has happened and what date it is. He doesn't need to say much, all he has to do is be there and you feel it in your gut. I then realize that he is what I've been looking for all my life and you feel his power. He has the power to enhance your power and turn you into a mega mutant.

 

'Talking Cyclops with Tye Sheridan and Nightcrawler with Kodi Smit-McPhee'

Tye we have been told that your Cyclops is a different version than the character we have seen before. 

Tye Sheridan: It's just the younger version. Every one is a different person when they're younger and then you evolve with knowledge and attitude. It's basically what made him into that guy, what obstacles did he go through to get him to that point.

Where do we first meet Cyclops in this film?

Tye Sheridan: It's in the middle of America but he's a normal kid that's starting to have mutant feelings. 

Your brother Havok is in this film too, have you guys had time to bond?

Tye Sheridan: Yes, Lucas (Till) and I are actually living together but he's wrapped filming. We've actually gotten along like actual brothers. There are a few really good scenes with me and Lucas.

Scott and Jean have a romance, how does it develop in this film?

Tye Sheridan: Yeah it's developing. We're a young love that's just being discovered, there's also a lot of action in the film so it becomes a bit hard to drop a line in the middle about it but it has it's moments. 

Kodi can you tell us a bit about your Nightcrawler.

Kodi Smit-McPhee: We are able to see the side of Nightcrawler that we like so much in the comics. It's the well rounded, joyous, random personality that we love but also so grounded in his faith and we went with the choice to still have the designs. It's a mix of ideas but also faithful to what I think the fans will enjoy. 

Do you kept to use the sword?

Kodi Smit-McPhee: Unfortunately in this...the sword was an aspect add to spice up Nightcrawler a little bit at some point. So we stuck with it's original character. I am doing the German accent with the big fangs in my mouth and thick contacts but it's all justified. 

How is it wearing the feet and the hands?

Kodi Smit-McPhee: The feet are molded in a lot of different ways and there was a bunch of feet so I had to choose which ones were comfortable. The hands aren't too bad, it's when you have it all together you realize how limited you are, the contacts, the hair, the teeth, the hands and the feet. Everyone around me helps me out. 

The hair is different this time around.

Kodi Smit-McPhee: That's all the hair teams doing, I like it. It has a bit of an anime touch. It might look a bit gothic but hopefully it's accepted. I come in three hours before crew call so I'll be here about 3:30 am and then i'll put on my muscle suit and then my clothes.

 

'Talking Jubilee with Lana Condor'

Tell us about Jubilee

Lana Condor: Her power in the comic books is fireworks, in this film her power is more fire bullet, plasmoid, electricity type. She's a student that's been at the mansion for about ten years so she's not new. She's mostly with Scott, Jean, and Kodi, they're her core friend group. In this film she serves as a time piece because you'll never forget that this takes place in the 80's. My costume is straight out of the 80's. She also serves as comedic relief at times where things are tense and real. She's just figuring out her powers here so in this film she's very much developing. She also had a great relationship with Wolverine. When I met Hugh Jackman at Comic Con I just wanted to die. 

What's her dynamic with the rest of the cast?

Lana Condor: She's fun, she gets along with all of the other students. She knows her subjects, I would be the first one to answer the questions. I think she had second thoughts on Scott when he first came to the school but later gets along with him. 

Can you tell us about your costume? 

Lana Condor: There's pins from the 80's all over it, one says I love the 80's, take a chill pill, and stay golden pony boy. The 80's threw up on me, my costume is simply the 80's. I have a jacket that has huge shoulder pads and I'm wearing fishnets. They have a scene where we are at the mall and they have a Contempo Casual store in it which was huge in the 80's. So I'm literally wearing something from Contempo Casual. 

"X-Men: Apocalypse" is in theaters May 27th 

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