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'X' Marks The Spot: Angels, Devils…and Icemen?
- Scott Huver

Boys will be boys…especially if the have six-foot wings, can throw explosive fire bombs or create icy snowballs at will. spent some time male bonding with the young turks of X-Men: The Last Stand: Ben Foster, who plays the airborne Angel; Aaron Stanford, the flame manipulating Pyro, and Shawn Ashmore as the frosty loverboy Iceman.

Ben Foster as Warren Worthington III/Angel

HW: What was it like to have wings?
BF: It's really cool. It's a wonderful feeling. It's very hard to describe. Going to the movies and watching a guy with wings is really exciting. It's something that's really in our blood. It is one of the most ancient icons in mankind. But it's a drag getting up early to get the feathers done.

HW: If you could have any mutant power in real life, what would it be?
BF: I would love to be able to read people's minds. Probably not all of the time--I might regret that a lot--but just the ability to cut through people's bulls**t. I feel like in our industry that would be great. I obviously wouldn't want to use it on people that I already know or existing family members or something like that, but there are a lot of times when you're second-guessing people's motives and you're just not really sure. I think that would be a great tool.

HW: Have you seen your action figure yet?
BF: Do I have one? No s**t?! I'm hoping I do. I didn't get into this to watch my ass fly. I want a toy. That's really cool.

Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake/Iceman

HW: In X2, you had some stolen moments with Anna Paquin's Rogue, and now there's a new girl on Iceman's horizon, Ellen Page's Kitty Pryde. How'd you rate the newbie?
SA: I actually think that Ellen is really sweet and fun and open. It's kind of nice because being Canadian actors, it's sort of cool to kind of—it's a fairly small community, and so I didn't know Ellen before we stared doing this, but we sort of had a few mutual friends and things like that, and I would go back to Toronto and say, "Oh, I'm doing this movie with Ellen." And everyone would be like, "Oh, Ellen. She's great." I really, really enjoyed working with her, and I think that she's an amazing actor.

HW: Are you able to separate yourself from your character and enjoy these films as much in the theater as the rest of the audience?
SA: I went ape s**t. I saw it alone in the theater and I was like, "This is the greatest thing that I've ever seen in my life. Stuff is blowing up. People are saying cool stuff. People are flying around." We were alone in the theater and it's the greatest thing that I've ever seen. I was cheering in the theater. I'm a sucker for this stuff.

HW: If you could have any mutant power in real life, what would it be?
SA: I think that swimming or breathing underwater and flying are probably equal for me. The ability of flight was a really great thing.

Aaron Stanford as John Allerdyce/Pyro

HW: How was playing Pyro different this time around?
AS: In X2 there was a lot of inner struggle going on, and he wasn't certain where his allegiances were. Were they with school, Professor X, the passive resistance? With Magneto and armed insurgency and terrorism? I think that in this one I like that he has made up his mind. He is a person with a cause now. He is a true believer. He has really crossed over and I think that he would follow Magneto and the brotherhood to his death happily. I liked having that sort of drive in this movie.

HW: What is it about a leader like Magneto that draws powerful characters like Pyro to fall under his sway?
AS: Like any extremist sect leader he is incredibly charismatic. That is thanks to Ian McKellen and his natural poise and Shakespearean bearing. I also think that he really makes these people feel empowered. A lot of these people have been victims their entire life, and then here is this guy who comes up and says "You don't have to be a victim anymore—You are a god." I think that is a pretty attractive concept: "Come follow me and the world is yours." He provided acceptance where they have only ever had rejection before. A lot of these people have been rejected by their own families, turned out into the streets. And he says, "Come be a member of a new family." All of these characters in the brotherhood have been victimized at one point or another by humanity, and they want to get them back and make sure that it never happens to them again.

HW: If you could be any mutant in real life, and have special powers, who would you be?
AS: His name is Longshot. His power is that he is unbelievably lucky. He effects probability fields or something. If he wants to win a battle, he walks into the middle of the crossfire and all of a sudden the bullets all ricochet and hit whoever has been shooting at him. It's a great power. A charmed life... I'll take it.