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19 Things You Didn't Know About The X-Men Cast

October 14, 2020 3.7k votes 541 voters 108.3k views19 items

List RulesVote up the facts that you didn't know about actors from Marvel's mutant movies.

When the first X-Men movie came out in 2000, it not only proved the simple fact that Hugh Jackman was the only person who could play Wolverine, but it also proved that comic book movies centered around Marvel Comics characters had blockbuster potential in them. From those humble beginnings came two sequels, four films in the X-Men: First Class universe, multiple Wolverine solo films, and last, but definitely not least, the Deadpool movies.

Because there have been so many movies over the years, plenty of actors have rotated in to play characters fans have come to know and love. They're all over the silver screen, but there's a lot the fans may not know about the likes of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, James Marsden, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, Sophie Turner, and others.

This list highlights some of the more interesting details about the cast of the X-Men movie universe. Find one or two that you didn't already know, and make sure to give them an upvote to see which thing you didn't know about the X-Men cast rises to the top!

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    Everyone Who Played Xavier And Magneto Also Played Macbeth

    While each actor has their own styles and methodology, it seems the actors who played Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto also happen to suit the lead role in Macbeth. Sir Ian McKellen added the role of the troubled Scottish King to his resume in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 1976 play. In 2013, James McAvoy took on the same role at Trafalgar Studios in London's West End.

    Sir Patrick Stewart absolutely slayed the role in Rupert Goold's stage production of Macbeth in 2012, and Michael Fassbender put Macbeth on his resume in 2015 in director Justin Kurzel's big-screen adaptation.

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    • Ryan Reynolds played Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but the character could not be more different than his comic book counterpart. The fans overwhelmingly hated the Origins depiction of the character, and Reynolds knew he could do far better with a little more creative control. He spent more than a decade trying to get a movie based on the character made, and he worked tirelessly to ensure it was made properly.

      That meant it had to have an R-rating, and it had to be far closer to the comic books than the first attempt. He wrote a letter to Fox, imploring the studio to do the right thing for the character, but he kept hitting a wall. Eventually, he and director Tim Miller were given the go-ahead, but it wasn't easy.

      As Reynolds recounted, the process was not a smooth one. According to the actor, the studio's attitude could be summed up like so: "Okay, here’s the absolute bare minimum amount of money that we will consider giving this character. Go make your movie, f*** off, and let us know when it’s done."

      • Age: 43
      • Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada
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    • In preparation for his role as Wolverine, Hugh Jackman decided to study an animal to prepare, though he didn't study the correct one. It turns out, he wasn't aware of the fact that wolverines were real animals, so he studied wolves instead.

      Jackman explained this gap in his knowledge while discussing the movie at a panel. "I literally, embarrassingly did about two weeks of research on wolves. I was rehearsing for three weeks, and I was shooting, so I was kind of on my own," he said.

      Director Bryan Singer noticed there was something off about his performance, so Jackman recounted the conversation he had with the director while on the set of X-Men:

      He said, 'Are you sort of walking funny, what’s going on?' And I said, 'I’ve been doing this thing with wolves,' and he goes, 'You know you’re not a wolf, right?' I said, 'Well, there’s no such thing as a wolverine.'"

      Singer gave him a simple note: "Go to the zoo, dude."

      • Age: 51
      • Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
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      Patrick Stewart And Ian McKellen Never Played Chess Before 'X-Men'

      There are numerous scenes throughout the X-Men franchise that show Professor Charles Xavier and Eric Lensherr/Magneto playing chess. They often discussed important things while doing so, and it showed a strong connection between the two characters. Interestingly, neither Sir Patrick Stewart nor Sir Ian McKellen knew how to play before they began filming in X-Men.

      While they could have simply faked it for the cameras, they didn't. A chess master was brought in to teach the two actors how to play. Stewart explained the situation in an interview with Godfrey Powell:

      Yes, [director] Bryan Singer set up a scene where Ian and I were playing chess. He said, 'Okay, why don't you all just make some moves.' I said, 'Well, I don't know how to play.' He said, 'Ian?' Sir Ian said he didn't know how to play either. Bryan rolled his eyes and said, 'Get someone on the set. We just need to believe that they are making the right moves.' The next day we arrive on the set, and yep, there's someone there who knows chess. A Canadian Grandmaster. I told him you are so overqualified for this job. He said, (whispering) 'I've never been on a set before.' And he stayed all day.

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