Let's hear it for the ... mutant?!? Kevin Bacon is X-Men villain
Kevin Bacon as a villain? He is in the new movie X-Men: First Class. But the extent of his wickedness will shock casual fans of the X-Men story. Imagine poor Ren McCormack as a sadistic Nazi concentration camp doctor. Yeah, pure evil ... with sideburns.
I caught an advance screening of X-Men: First Class on Tuesday and loved it. I'm no fan of the comic book series. Never read a single edition. So I had no preconceived notions when I discovered that Bacon played the role of Sebastian Shaw, a mutant who's nearly indestructible because he absorbs the energy of violence directed at him. (Or something like that. Seriously, to me the powers aren't as important as the movie's storyline.)
While Bacon will probably always fall into the hero camp for '80s fans thanks to Footloose, Quicksilver, Planes Trains & Automobiles and The Big Picture, truth is that he's probably a better actor as a villain.
Think of his slightly darker roles: Hollow Man, White Water Summer, Wild Things, Sleepers. Hell, even his first role in Animal House. It'll be interesting to see if X-Men gives him meatier villain roles in the future. (Though I really don't want to see anything darker than Sleepers ... ever again.)
Flicksandbits.com has a great interview with Bacon about his new role. Here are some highlights.
ON COMIC BOOKS: "I didn’t grow up so much with comics. I had a few, but it wasn’t really a big part of my childhood, but I knew the films."
ON RESEARCHING HIS CHARACTER: "One of the great things about working on the thing was that the day I got to Pinewood, the guys from Marvel came out with this gigantic bible of everything that had been written and drawn about Sebastian Shaw. That was like 75% of my research just handed to me."
ON PLAYING A MUTANT: "It was great. It’s great to be a mutant! It’s the first time that I’ve played a mutant, so that was a great opportunity (laughs). I think that if you look at this movie, aside from the powers and mutations that all the characters have, they are, compared to many other comic book movies, extremely human in the way that they feel things. They get jealous, they have hate and fear and they get drunk together."