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Iceman Role Hardly Leaves Ashmore Cold
- Tim Lammers

Actor Thrilled That Character Has Arc

There's no better way of putting it: Canadian actor Shawn Ashmore's reception as Iceman by fans of the "X-Men" movies has been anything but, well, chilly.

Ashmore stars as Bobby Drake, aka Iceman, in all three "X-Men" installments, and in the latest, "X-Men: The Last Stand," the 26-year-old actor is thrilled his character comes full circle.

"It's a pretty unique experience, unless you're part of a successful franchise like this, to get to revisit your character several times over a couple years," Ashmore told me in a recent @ The Movies interview. "What makes it interesting is, as you mature you as a person and grow up, so does your character. Plus, if there's ever an opportunity to change something in your performance, here's your chance to do it. It's a pretty cool thing."

One thing that's for certain in the new "X-Men" film is that with maturity of the younger characters, comes greater responsibility -- and Ashmore is more than ready for the task.

"That's what so exciting -- and what I've been waiting for," said the fired-up Ashmore. "In 'X2,' you see these kids thrust into this situation with the attack on the school, and the difference in this film is that now you see Bobby taking more of an active role. He's part of the team, he's training and going on missions and that's just another step of him maturing and gaining control over his powers. I think fans will be excited to see that. There are some real great payoffs in character developments and action sequences."

Amidst the brewing war between mutants and humans over a "cure" that threatens the future of the mutant race, Bobby is also contending with is his eroding relationship with his girlfriend, Rogue (Anna Paquin).

With a mutant power that can kill by touch, Rogue's never been able to get close to Bobby -- and a blossoming friendship between her beau and a girl who can walk through walls only complicates this important phase in their lives.

"I think the relationship between Bobby and Rogue is tested some in the movie," Ashmore said, laughing. "I wouldn't say that Bobby has wandering eyes, but Kitty Pryde is someone he can connect with and obviously they're on the same page about certain things -- and Rogue certainly isn't happy. I don't think Bobby is a bad person for doing what he is doing; it's just a situation that happens. It's a human thing, wanting someone to be close to and connect with."

And while Bobby and Rogue have their work cut out for them, Ashmore is confident that moviegoers will connect again with the plight of their mutant heroes in "The Last Stand."

"I think that's why the 'X-Men' movies have been so popular -- not only can it be a big, fun summer popcorn movie, there's so much more there," Ashmore explained. "These characters are in very difficult situations, and you get to know these people and feel for them. The action is much bigger and the stakes are raised; yet you're not distracted by it."

The best thing is, he added, is that there's plenty of great material to go around.

"It's a pretty great role to step into, when you get to have fun and enjoy the action stuff, yet play a real character that's not two-dimensional," Ashmore said. "But it's not just about one or two characters -- every character has their arc and is developed. Whether it's five minutes on-screen or an hour, each character is three-dimensional."