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The Iceman Cometh
Shawn Ashmore, returning as the X-Men's coolest mutant in X2, mulls over the possibility of screen fame
- Marc Shapiro

Is fame a gas or a drag? Shawn Ashmore can't make up his mind.

"Honestly I don't think there is a serious negative side to being recognized for what you do," says Ashmore, who is currently doing his second tour of duty as Bobby Drake, a.k.a. iceman, in X-Men 2. "But working on X-Men you definitely see the downside to fame. You're not as free to live your life as you would like to be. I definitely don't think I would like to be in the position of being hounded all the time, having to plan what time of the day I was going out, that sort of thing. That's definitely a negative side. But being recognized for what you do and having people enjoy your work is a positive thing. Actors are all kind of selfish about wanting that. But then acting is pretty much a selfish thing anyway."

Ashmore, who has been acting since age 10, carries some baggage that most performers would consider a curse. He has a twin brother, Aaron, who is also an actor.

"That's an issue and it always will be," concedes Ashmore, who is more willing to discuss his twin issues than any real details on the upcoming X-Men 2. "You're constantly compared in everything. But I think we've learned to deal with that and there is no extreme jealously, resentment or anything like that in our careers. It isn't a huge issue because, if it was, it could really ruin our friendship and our relationship."

However the actor admits that being twins in Hollywood does occasionally produce a weird scene.

"We've been in auditions where we both went for the part and they literally said to our agents, 'We like both of them for the part, and obviously they look the same, so we're just going to flip a coin.' So it's definitely a unique situation to be in as actors. It's difficult when you lose that coin toss. But the upside is that it's also brought us attention where it wouldn't have in other situations. So it's like fame -- it's both good and bad.

Ashmore acknowledges that landing the Iceman role has been a career move of the most extreme kind and, mirror image aside, he proudly proclaims: "There was no coin toss involved in that audition. I landed that role on my own."

Cinescape / Transcript by Pam