Wednesday, April 16, 2003
X2 CHAT: ALAN CUMMING (NIGHTCRAWLER)
QUESTION: How does it feel to have your first action figure?
CUMMING: It feels fantastic, I have to say.
QUESTION: Do you think it captures the likeness?
CUMMING: It's pretty good, actually. Normally, these things just look like Barbies, with blue makeup on. But we did a special scan thing, so it looks like me.
QUESTION: What initially attracted you to the Nightcrawler role?
CUMMING: Two things actually. One was the whole concept of the X-Men being outsiders, people who have been ostracized from society and sort of the whole message that it's important to understand other people's cultures and not just to hate them just because they're different.
And also, because I really wanted to fly through the air and kill people (laughs).
QUESTION: Let's emphasize that Nightcrawler is a good guy…
QUESTION: What is a bamf?
QUESTION: Is there a correcting spelling for that?
CUMMING: B-a-m-f. To bamf is the conjugation.
QUESTION: What is your favorite aspect of the role?
CUMMING: I think the fact that he's sensitive and shy and there's sort of a complex side to him apart from him being this big, scary killer. You don't expect in a big action film to find some many complexities to a character.
QUESTION: How was it enduring the makeup process?
CUMMING: It was really, really, really hard. It took a long, long time and it was painful. The days were very long. And it's kind of emotional. As it went on, I got emotional because people are completely in your face all day and you're completely exhausted. I mean, it looks great. Everyone says, "You look amazing." And you just want to say, "Shut up!"
Now that I've seen the film, it'll be easier to go back into it again.
QUESTION: Did it get easier as the production rolled on, or did it get more difficult?
CUMMING: It was getting more difficult because the skin on my face started to react to the gallons of paint that was sprayed on me everyday. My eyelids got this funny sort of rash thing. It was sore. I cant make it any more palatable for you than that.
QUESTION: You played a German. Can you speak the language?
CUMMING: I speak a little bit. I can kind of get by in airports and restaurants, but I don't speak it fluently. I've done German accents before, but I had to speak quite of lot German lines, I was very conscious that people in Germany would be listening. So I worked hard with a dialect person to get it right.
QUESTION: What was challenging about the role once you were in the makeup?
CUMMING: What was great about him and what was also quite challenging, was finding a way to move that would sort of make sense with his whole mutancy. I worked with a movement guy called Terry to make Nightcrawler set of movements.
I often had a harness on for the tail and sometimes two harnesses if I flew, so physically it was quite demanding. I had to constantly correct myself, correct my back.
I really loved that part. That was my favorite part, working with that guy and trying to make the way he moves match up to the way he looks.
QUESTION: Do you think having actors from all over the world lended a certain spice to the movie?
CUMMING: I do. The X-Men are outsiders and they don't fit in. So to have people from all around the world, actors who don't actually fit in, helps. Yeah, it actually helps to feel different.
QUESTION: Do you think your character is misunderstood or just plain evil?
CUMMING: Oh, he's not evil. Far from evil. I think all of the X-Men are misunderstood. That's really what the whole thing is about. Everyone is misunderstood and that's what they're fighting against: prejudice.
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