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MONDAY, MAY 22, 2006

X-MEN: THE LAST STAND'S ANNA PAQUIN

NEW YORK -- The arrival of a "cure" creates havoc in the world of mutants in X-Men: The Last Stand, but among the X-Men, it touches most the one who cannot touch: Rogue.

And that creates one of the more dynamic choices in the film. Will Rogue take the cure?

"With the cure, she has an option," said Paquin, who is playing the character for the third time. "She can either be cured and change her life forever, or accept who she is and continue living with the feelings of isolation that accompany her mutation."

"Rogue has the worst power in the entire mutant universe, period," producer Ralph Winter said. "She can't touch or express love. What is she going to do? This film answers the question."

So while Rogue isn't involved in a lot of the action -- although she was in the Danger Room scene, which Paquin described as "awesome" -- her character is a big part of the film.

"How big or small or important or not my character per se is to the story is something that never really registers with me," Paquin said. I was just happy that I got some interesting scenes to do and had an emotional job at hand that was going to be someone challenging because there isnıt always a lot of that in these kinds of movies.

"So I just felt really lucky that, once again, the writers hooked me up with some interesting stuff to do. I just thought it was a really interesting concept for the movie for what happens next.

"You've seen different kinds of bickering and butting heads with the mutants themselves. What if theyıre butting heads with the whole world? I just thought it was a great new challenge to throw at everyone."

Paquin said that Rogue's desire to be able to touch others is a "very natural" thing.

"From babies who are left alone in their orphanages to cry in their cribs have you huge problems, you need physical contact," she said. "Itıs like the most basic thing. Literally, a child that was very small would die without it. To be isolated like that is a very painful thing."

Does Rogue actually take the cure? No spoilers here, but a scene at the end of the movie was shot with both "yes" and "no" scenarios.

And what scene would Paquin personally have used?

"I think there's arguments for both sides," Paquin said. "I think both had emotional sort of implications that I could justify on her behalf.

"What I would personally do? Not my decision right now."

X-Men: The Last Stand opens on Friday.

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