Platt, Byrne and Hoult on X-Men: First Class

The cast of X-Men: First Class has started answering fans’ questions on the film’s official Facebook page. Here are Oliver Platt (Man in Black) and Rose Byrne (Dr. Moira MacTaggert), and we’ve added Nicholas Hoult (Hank McCoy/Beast) as well, an interview we didn’t get a chance to post when it first went live:

Oliver Platt (Man in Black)

Aimee – Here’s the question we all want to know. Who exactly is the Man in Black?
The Man In Black runs a super secret division of the CIA devoted to investigating the application of mental telepathy and paranormal power in military defense. He has long been a laughing stock of the Agency because of this. His department is known as ‘Division X’.

Ali – How does your character fit into the mutant universe?
When Charles and Mystique become ensnared with the Agency, the Man in Black diverts them to his division with a deft bureaucratic sleight of hand. Erik soon joins them and The X-Men flourish under MIB’s protection.

Gregory – Were you a fan of the X-Men before making this movie?
I became a fan of X-Men through the movies.

Joshua – If you had a mutant power what would it be and why?
If I had a mutant power it would be to plant ideas in powerful people’s minds.

Tirzah – What was your favorite part of making this movie?
The best part of the movie was working with the cast; McAvoy, Fassbender, Jenn, Rose. Working with John Dykstra, one of the seminal figures of modern special effects. Hanging with my old buddy K Bacon in London even though we didn’t get to work together.

Denis – Are you a fan of comics or of comic-based movies? If so, which ones?
Grew up with Superman, Batman, Green Hornet, Asterix (yes he’s a superhero!!). Love the new Batman and Iron Man flicks.

Rose Byrne (Dr. Moira MacTaggert)

ManFromRoomX – In the comics Moira MacTaggert has been the love interest of both Charles Xavier and Sean Cassidy (Banshee) Are these relationships explored in the script?
We explore the relationship of Moira and Charles but not with Banshee – at least not yet!

Nick – Moira didn’t have the accent in Last Stand, so I can only assume she won’t be having it in First Class?
No, Matthew Vaughn was adamant she be American – despite James McAvoy’s slight disappointment as he is Scottish.

Anonymous – Will we get a chance to see Muir Island?
Sadly no, not in this installment.

Amy – Were you a little jealous that your character is the only one of the main characters without superpowers?
I was not when we were shooting as I didn’t have to get picked up at 2:30am like Jennifer Lawrence. But I am sure I will suffer post-traumatic mutant envy when I see Angel being able to fly.

Ashton – What type of preparation and research did you do to prepare for your role as Dr. MacTaggert?
I researched the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the CIA in 1962 as this is when the film is set. Production organized a brilliant X-Men expert to come and talk to us when we wanted. He came with a folder 20 pounds heavy with every comic and known fact on Moira McTaggert collated so I devoured that as well.

Marcus – Are we going to see Moira really involved at Xavier’s school? Perhaps as a teacher or creator of Cerebro?
We will see – I hope so. She truly devoted her entire life to the cause so it would only make sense.

Jason – Dr. MacTaggert is a unique, strong, yet powerless human in a world full of mutants. What was your favorite part about playing her?
Her fashion sense…kidding. It was great to play the role of a true female pioneer in a time when misogyny was alive and well and to play someone so devoted and passionate about the mutant community – a cause that stands as a great metaphor – that we can all co-exist peacefully and progressively.

Nicholas Hoult (Hank McCoy/Beast)

Anonymous – What drew you to the role of Hank McCoy/ Beast?
The fascinating part of the role for me was the chance to play Hank/Beast before and after his transformation. The combination of his intelligence and wit offset by his animalistic appearance was fun to play.

Anonymous – What did you think of the original Beast?
I thought Kelsey Grammer did a fantastic job when he portrayed Beast, his charm and eloquence was something I wanted to try and emulate. However, in First Class I play Hank younger before becoming a politician, when he is a scientist and still learning about himself and his abilities. So I didn’t want to try and just play a younger Kelsey but also bring something new to the role.

Albert C. – Are you an X-Men fan and if so, did you have a lot of source material to go thru or did you make up your own version of Beast?
I am an X-Men fan, I grew up watching the cartoons and films. It was fantastic to have so much source material to draw from, I read lots of comics in the build up to filming to try and get the best sense of Hank.

Sean – Beast is my favorite comic book character. Did you feel any pressure to show his feral side, while keeping him as lovable as he is in the comics?
There is pressure when playing a character who is so iconic and loved by fans, so you have to approach it with respect. Hank is urbane whilst being slightly shy of his mutations in this story, but then later on once the transformation to Beast has taken place he should still becharming but have a feral edge.

Daniel – What type of preparation did you do for the role of Beast?
In preparation for the role I watched lots of Frasier and listened to people who spoke with a similar accent to Kelsey, my dialect coach and I worked on creating something towards Kelsey’s dialect but without being an imitation. I also did lots of fitness training as being in the Beast costume and make up could be very tiring and tough physically.

Marcus – Will we get to see Beast in more of his iconic lab settings and sporting some Shakespearean quotes?
Yes, you get to see Hank in his element in the lab. Some of the genius inventions he creates are shown, and also some of the not so successful ones.

Tirzah – How long does it take to get your makeup on?
The make up took 4 hours to get on, during which time we would listen to music mostly, or if it was a very early call I sometimes fell asleep.

Ashton D. – Did they do any CGI on your hands and feet prior to Beast going blue to make him seem more ape-like as in the comics and shows?
Before the transformation Hank’s feet are a CGI effect so I would wear a blue sock and then the larger ape like feet would be added in post production. I did wear shoes a few sizes larger so that in theory they would have fitted in.

Jason G. – Beast is a nasty combination of high intellect and brute strength. Which side is more evident in the movie, and which side do you relate to more?
You get to see both the brute strength and intellect of Beast in this film. If I had to choose which one I related to most it would have to be the intellect as I certainly don’t have anywhere near the strength and speed he possesses. Although, the same could be said for the intellect…

X-Men: First Class opens in theaters on June 3.