If anyone on the set of Logan can speak to the changing dynamic of a motion picture, it is the one and only Patrick Stewart. The 76-year old reprises his role in the blockbuster as Charles Xavier, the leader of the X-Men who is relying on Wolverine to protect him from the Reavers.
Debuting on March 3, 2017, Stewart sat down with Collider to talk about the feature and what it was like working with faces old and new.
"To be once more working with Hugh (Jackman), who I've been with from the very beginning, with James (Mangold director) - who I've only done one days work with in the past but enjoyed it - and then to be in the company of - well I only really got to work with Dafne Keen, who is our youngest member of the cast and quite extraordinary," outlined stewart. "Working with her and Hugh was a huge highlight. Apart from anything else we had a lot of fun too. You wouldn't believe the word games that we played day after day. Sitting in the heat of Louisiana in that car (laughs)."
Low Expectations, But High Reward For Patrick
Not kept up to speed by the producers at Marvel ahead of time, the actor admitted that the process was something that unfolded before his eyes. The more he read and understood the material, the more passionate he was about the project.
"There were hints that there was going to be another movie and maybe, maybe Charles (Xavier) was going to be involved in it," explained Stewart. "I was happy to be alerted because every association I've had with the X-Men franchise, the Wolverine franchise, has been a good one. When the confirmation came through I was delighted, but not expecting too much because this is the Wolverine extension of the franchise. When I saw the first screenplay, the first draft that I saw, I was stunned, shocked, surprised and delighted because diversity has been such an important part of my life and work for over 50 years. 'Please, please give me something new and different to do but don't make me repeat the same thing over and over again.' This was certainly different."
From The Penthouse To The Doghouse
Lacking the clean and polished aesthetic that has come to look with previous superhero installments, Stewart outlined how this film genuinely put the cast outside their comfort zone.
"Just from reading the descriptions of the first scene that I appear in where we were was nothing like Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Children. No nice beautiful elegant manor house to live in, but something quite extraordinary, uncomfortable and threatening. Page by page, I saw this expanding and developing. I was intrigued and excited by the prospect. That stayed with me right up until the last moment on camera."
Quizzed as to whether the X-Men series should have gone R rated before this moment, Stewart was circumspect on the matter.
"I very rarely look back at any aspect of my life and say, 'I wish I would have done that differently and I wish it could have been different.' One or two things, maybe. Every time we began to roll the cameras on a new X-Men or new Wolverine movie, there were changed circumstances and subtly changed aspects of Charles himself. But this pushes the envelope much further than I ever expected it might. I gobbled it up, because it's at the very heart of what I enjoy most doing."