January 31, 2005 - Broadway stage vet Alan Cumming is not exactly the actor you might expect to play one of the members of the legendary X-Men gang, particularly the blue-skinned Nightcrawler. After fans got over his casting and then finished making fun of his name, his performance in X2 turned out to be one of the favorite characters for many fans of the series.
Now, a few years have passed and X3 has gone through some difficult sidesteps in its road towards production. The biggest blow came when director Bryan Singer departed for a chance to direct the man of steel.
IGN FilmForce spoke with Cumming over the weekend at the press day for Son of the Mask. During the course of the interview, Cumming spoke briefly about X3.
While many cast-members have been upset over Singer’s departure, Cumming says that he’s not too broken up: “No. I’m not disappointed; I cannot deny that. I think he’s really talented and I’m very proud of the film and I think it’s a great film. I didn’t enjoy working with him on the film.”
While many names are currently being floated about as to Singer’s replacement, Cumming has no real opinion when asked if he has suggestions for a new helmer. “No. My mom? (Laughs) It’s a really hard act to follow.”
Either way, Cumming says he is contracted for a second film and will be returning for part 3. “I signed for two films, so I’m going to [do another one]. The last I heard is that we’re starting on the 20th of June, but they don’t have a script or a director yet… So that may be pushed a little bit. But they have to release it in May of 2006 for some reason, so it’s gonna be shot in the summer… It’s one of these things that I sort of, I kind of just want to know I’m going to do it ‘cause it affects your whole life. You can’t do other things cause you know that it’s a large amount of time; I’m going to a show on Broadway, which I moved to January of next year just to make sure I finished X-Men… Every film you do you have to tell them just in case they’re going to get it together really fast. You’re under some options. It’s quite weird.”
Cumming says that he found the make-up for Nightcrawler to be a pretty grueling process which he’s not looking forward to going through again. “With Nightcrawler, I did it about 40 times. That was about four hours and that wasn’t even prosthetics on my face, it was just blue stuff and some tattoos. So that was horrendous… It was entirely, every moment of being on the set was like that. It was strange… In X-Men 2, I still have the call sheet. It said, ‘Alan Pick-up 2:42 a.m.’ That was my earliest pick-up…”
While Cumming may have a few ideas to make his process less arduous, he doesn’t expect much of a change in Nightcrawler’s look. “No. [I have an idea] where there’d be some fabulous crazy, terrible accident happens to Nightcrawler [and] his face turns white… (Laughs)”
Stay tuned to IGNFF for all the latest news on X3.