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In the Future: Shawn Ashmore
- Edward Douglas

Shawn Ashmore is best known for his role as Bobby Drake, AKA Iceman, in the "X-Men" movies. MTV even gave him an award for "Breakthrough Male Performance" for his part in X2: X-Men United. Since making that film, he took on an even bigger challenge playing the substantially larger role of Ged in SCI FI Channel's mini-series Earthsea based on the novels by Ursula K. Le Guin.

While in town to promote the fantasy epic, Ashmore talked to about the expectations for the next X-movie, which he is already signed on to do. Although he admitted to having no idea what the script is like, who the director will be and when they're going to start, he did have some ideas of what he would like to see in the next film as far as his character. "I really want to continue the Pyro/Iceman sort of rivalry," he told us, "Because I think there's a great opportunity for a really fun battle between the two elements. I also like the relationship with Anna's character Rogue. It's not a typical teenage love story. There's a lot going against them, and I think it's interesting to sort of work through that. They're in a relationship that they can't rush into but they want to so badly that the tension there is really fun."

Ashmore also reflected upon the pros and cons of working with a new director. "Brian [Singer] really crafted the first two films, so it's going to be difficult to lose someone that had such a huge influence on the movies," he said. "But I also think that it'll be interesting to get some new blood in as long as you stay true to the original comics. You can't jump too far off Brian's films, because I think people will find it a little strange if it's a completely different look or totally new characters. I think it will be nice, in a way, to get someone else's vision. Brian really set up an interesting franchise, but whomever comes along should enjoy it and have fun like we have so far."

So what about Singer's latest project, Superman? Rumors have been circulating that Ashmore might play photographer Jimmy Olsen. He tried to deny them: "I'm always the last to know about these things, but there's nothing solid, so we're just waiting to see." (A few minutes later, Ashmore's Earthsea co-star Kristin Kreuk, a star on Smallville, let slip that she thought it was wonderful that Shawn was involved with the movie. Maybe he told her something that he didn't want us to know just yet? Hmm.)

In the meantime, Ashmore has been keeping busy, having just completed a couple of smaller independent films. "I just finished a film in Montreal called 'Three Needles' with director Thom Fitzgerald, a great Canadian filmmaker. It's basically three stories that take place, one in Montreal, one in Africa and one in China. It's about the AIDS epidemic and how it affects different cultures and people. I basically play a B porn star with AIDS that is cheating on his blood tests to work in the industry. It's a really dark, different character for me, but really interesting and tough to play."

He also finished working on the independent film Dot with Elisha Cuthbert and Edie Falco. "I play a character named Conner Kennedy, who is basically the typical high school jock. This whole film is about this deaf girl named Dot who moves to a new school. She's sort of like the quote-unquote freak that everyone dislikes and makes fun of in public, but then in private opens up to her because they assume that she can't hear. All the characters are discovered through their relationship with her."

Earthsea premieres on the Sci-Fi Channel on Monday, December 13.