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X2 Chat: Shawn Ashmore (Iceman)

QUESTION: What attracted you to the role of Iceman?

ASHMORE: Originally, with the first film, I was a sort of an X-Men fan beforehand. I had read the comics and was familiar with the world. When I heard they were making the film in Toronto, which is where I grew up, I definitely wanted to be a part of it. Iceman was the character I was sort of the right age for because they were going for a younger character. It's just an interesting character, all in all really. And the relationship they've developed with Rogue was something that I thought was really interesting.

QUESTION: The part was relative small in the first film and now you're one of the principle cast members in the second.

ASHMORE: Yeah, it was nice to be asked back. It definitely was exciting. It was unexpected and nice to work with everybody again, the talented filmmakers and cast alike.

QUESTION: When did you start reading comics?

ASHMORE: I started reading comics in general when I was probably around 10 years old, including X-Men comics. I used to watch the cartoon on Fox after school.

QUESTION: Have you seen all the episodes? Bryan Singer said that he watched a lot them before the first film?

ASHMORE: I don't know if I've seen all of them. But I've definitely seen quite a few.

QUESTION: How does it feel to be in such a big movie?

ASHMORE: All in all, it's been pretty exciting. I think getting to play a super-hero is a pretty cool thing in general. To work on a big project where you get a chance to create this elaborate world - including amazing sets and special effects and the cast that they got together; it's a real ensemble piece with really experienced actors, which is a treat to get to work with on a project like this. All in all, it's completely exciting.

QUESTION: What was it like kissing Anna Paquin?

ASHMORE: Kissing Anna was definitely a perk of the job. In any sort of scene like this, it's sort of weird because there's 30 people watching you do this. And on top that, it's sort of an effects shot as well. So we have to stand next to each other, face to face, for 15 minutes while they lit the scene. So that was a little strange. But I think the scene turned out really well. It's nice a moment for the characters, so it was good.

QUESTION: Did you mess up so you had to do it again and again?

ASHMORE: We had to do it again and again anyway, so I didn't mess it up. I was sick on that day and I was afraid I was going to give Anna my cold, so that was the one kind of awkward part of the day.

QUESTION: How does X2 compare with other movies you've done?

ASHMORE: How does it compare? Well, obviously the scale is so much bigger - the scope. That's really the main difference. I think at the end of the day, everything that I've tried to do or hopefully have done, I've learned something on. It doesn't vary that much except in the sense that the scale's a lot different.

QUESTION: Do you get a sense of the scale when you're making the movie?

ASHMORE: I think of a film like this, you really realize. They made a reproduction of the Oval Office to the exact detail and created these huge sets that we actually get to be on.

Really, when it comes down to it, when you're standing in the middle of a warehouse surrounded by the plastic prison and Cerebro, you really realize that it's such a big film.

QUESTION: What's your scene in the movie?

ASHMORE: I have a few favorite scenes. One of my favorite scenes is with Wolverine in the kitchen. There's sort of a moment where they sort of connect on a level. They're both talking about relationships and how they're in love with someone that they can't be as close as they want to be, so that's kind of cool part. Also, Aaron Stanford (Pyro) blowing up my front yard was pretty cool. Pyro setting that on fire was great.

QUESTION: Did you have to train physically for the movie?

ASHMORE: Yeah, I actually worked out with a trainer for about a month before I started working on the film. It was more to be healthy. We were going to be shooting between five and six months with really, really long days. So just to stay healthy was sort of an important thing. I went on a bit of a diet, eating chicken breasts and rice and didn't drink for about a month. So I did a little bit of training.

QUESTION: Were you trying to put on weight or muscle?

ASHMORE: Yeah, a little bit. You can only do so much in a month, but I was trying to build up a little bit.

QUESTION: Did you do your own stunts?

ASHMORE: I didn't have a lot of stunts to do because it wasn't a lot of hand-to-hand combat. It was more effects with our powers. So, yeah, I didn't have to do a lot of stunts. I was involved in a stunt at the end with Anna in the X-Jet, but I won't give that away.

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