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Meet... Shawn Ashmore
- Kim Linekin

WHO IS HE?
Twenty-three-year-old Richmond, BC native who stars alongside Anna Paquin (Rogue) as Bobby Drake/Iceman in X-Men and X2: X-Men United.

HOW'D HE GET SO LUCKY?
Though Ashmore was one of the few cast members not contractually obligated to do the sequel, he got the news just six weeks before X2 started shooting last summer in Vancouver that director Bryan Singer wanted him back for an expanded role. He speculates that Singer "saw something in the Rogue-Bobby relationship in the first film. I think they wanted a teen romance, and I think they knew they were going to bring in the Pyro character [played by Tadpole's Aaron Stanford]so they probably wanted two guys who'd butt heads." Rogue and Bobby's romance may anger X-Men purists, since it's not in the comics, but Ashmore was savvy enough not to question his good fortune. "I didn't want to get into it. I was just happy to be part of things."

HOW DID HIS EYES GET SO BLUE (AND OTHER THINGS ENQUIRING TEENS WANT TO KNOW)?
Bobby's ice-blue eyes aren't the result of contacts or CGI. "I get asked that all time," says Ashmore. "No, a little bit of lighting and they turn that colour." Ashmore was asked to bulk up for the sequel, though. So he hired a personal trainer and went on a strict diet, but he denies vanity had anything to do with it. "I knew I was going to be there for five months working 14- to 18-hour days, and if you get sick in a situation like that, it's really hard to pull yourself back. So I just wanted to be healthy when I showed up."

Over the course of the shoot, the cast let loose with weekly dinner parties hosted by Sir Ian McKellan and paintball games that Paquin tended to win. Ashmore says he and Paquin hung out often because they're close in age, but he refuses to pick a favourite among the other babes in the cast. "They're all gorgeous, obviously. There was never a hard day of work when the ladies were there."

SO NOW THAT HE'S MR. FAMOUS X-MAN, CAN HE SWEAR OFF MADE-FOR-TV MOVIES?
Ashmore has acted in almost as many made-for-TV movies as he has fingers to count on. He was even nominated for a Gemini for CBC's Guitarman at the tender age of 14, though he remembers the event chiefly for being his first time wearing a tux. "I was excited about it but I didn't think I was going to win anyway so it was just a fun excuse to get dressed up and go with my family." The nomination boosted his confidence but didn't do much for his career. "Maybe if I'd won," he shrugs.

Now there are Shawn Ashmore fansites all over the internet, a fact that unnerves as much as flatters him. "I just recently started checking out X-Men stuff online 'cause people were like, 'you should go on the internet and see the reviews.' So I've seen [my fansites] indirectly but I've never typed in 'Shawn Ashmore.' Going on the internet and reading about yourself is sort of vain, I think."

WHAT'S NEXT FOR OUR ICE, ICE BABY?
A pilot Ashmore was working on with Daniel Baldwin didn't get picked up by the network, so it's back to reading scripts in the Toronto apartment he shares with his twin brother Aaron, who's also an actor and older by one minute. "I'll never live down being the little brother," he sighs.

Eye Weekly