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Calgary Herald

Canadian Plays It Cool in X-Men
- Kirstie McLellan

Shawn Ashmore is a good looking, friendly, Alberta-raised boy who happens to be one of the reasons X-Men: The Last Stand has already raked in more than $200 million. He lives in Los Angeles as most rising young stars do, but his heart belongs to us.

"Canada is my home sweet home," he says.

Ashmore was born in Richmond, B.C., and then spent 10 years just outside of Edmonton in St. Albert, before moving to Brampton, Ont.

It was in St. Albert that Ashmore got his start in acting.

"It just kinda happened randomly," he recalls. "I have a twin brother named Aaron, and my mom was part of this twin triplet club. A casting director asked if we would be interested in auditioning for a toy commercial."

Winning the role of Bobby Drake, or Iceman, in X-Men "was very random."

"The first one (X-Men, 2000) was shot in Toronto. I was a fan of the comic books and the cartoons and I knew Brian Singer was directing.... I went in four or five times. It was just a process of going in and reading, going in and reading. Each time fewer guys were in the waiting room."

Ashmore's ego is well in check and when people treat him like a big deal he is surprised.

"The weird thing to me is, the idea of celebrity, being a movie star, whatever, has nothing to do with acting. It's not like I can't go anywhere, that's totally not an issue and I honestly would never want it to be, so I hope it never is.

"But it is strange to have someone who has seen stuff you've done come up to you because they have a pre-conceived notion of who you are due to a character you've played."

Fans may recognize Ashmore from his role as Terry Fox on CTV last fall, an experience he describes as "the best thing I have ever done as an actor."

"That part sort of came along and I read the script and my brother (Aaron) read the script and I immediately wanted to do it. But for about two seconds I was like, 'Do I really want to get into this?" I mean this is a part that you can't afford to screw up and there were so many aspects to it. I mean portraying a Canadian icon, someone who was a hero to me growing up.... It was a huge honour."

The Calgary Herald