MTV News’ Summer Movie Preview roars ahead today, following up Monday’s “Captain America” exclusive with even more comic-book movie goodness in the guise of “X-Men: First Class.” Our exclusive photo captures many of the core mutants — James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and others — looking very suspiciously at … well, something. (We’ll have to wait until the film hits theaters on June 3 to find out for sure.)
Additionally, “X-Men” star Zoë Kravitz, who plays the insect-winged mutant Angel, called up MTV News to chat about the film’s devoted fanbase, her less-than-sexy audition, and what it’s like to be strung up on wires over a freezing cold beach for a week — all in the name of movie magic.
MTV: Have you gotten a sense yet about how passionate people are about comic book properties like “X-Men”?
Zoe Kravitz: Yes, it’s crazy! I’ve never been into comic books, so I was never in that world. When the trailer came out, I looked at it on YouTube and there were pages and pages and pages of comments. People were getting heated. And all the blogs — it’s crazy! This is really near and dear to a lot of people, so I hope we don’t disappoint them!
MTV: Well, the reaction so far has been very positive, but was there that added pressure on set to get it right, based on how intense the fanbase is?
Kravitz: When we were filming it, we didn’t have that sort of energy. We were just focused on what we were doing. We tried to focus on the drama in the material and approach everything as actors. Now that we’re done, we’re seeing that people are reacting strongly to what they’ve seen.
MTV: What was your audition process like?
Kravitz: I was actually one of the last people cast. It happened really quickly. They were being really secretive about the script and the characters that were going to be in the film, so I didn’t even know who I was auditioning for. I didn’t think I had a shot. I didn’t even take it seriously. It wasn’t with [director] Matthew [Vaughn]. It was with the casting director in New York. I got the call at the last minute and I’d gone out the night before and I was hungover and tired and not the prepared person that I usually am. I was wearing a big hat and totally not being a sexy “X-Men” character. I went in and had a good time with it. They called back and said, “Matthew really responded to your tape, but can you come back and maybe wear something a little more sexy?” I didn’t know until later the character was a go-go dancer. I went back in and in the next two weeks, I was on plane to London.
MTV: So you didn’t have to strap on the insect wings?
Kravitz: Nope! They flew me out and there was a full month of preproduction of making decisions about the wings — and putting them on — and the different shapes and colors. And there was a lot of training. I did do a lot of wire work, so I had to get pretty strong.
MTV: Angel isn’t one of these super well-known characters, but she’s got a cool backstory where she runs away from home and discovers her mutation. Do we get any of those origins in the movie?
Kravitz: She has such a cool background, but that is not in the film. You meet her later when they’re recruiting these mutants to form the first group of X-Men. But it was really helpful for me to know all that information to form the character. But who knows what will happen in the future. Hopefully, they’ll continue with her.
MTV: What’s going on with that shot of you, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender in the trailer? You’ve got your top off in some kind of red, velvet-covered room.
Kravitz: It’s really funny. They come to find me, knowing about my mutation, and I’m working at a go-go club. I don’t know what they’re there for, so I take them in back for a private dance and then we show each other our powers.
MTV News: Are the wings totally CGI?
Kravitz: Yeah. The tattoos are really there and they make them come out of the tattoos with CGI.
MTV: Was there was one stunt or scene that was particularly difficult or that you’re proud of?
Kravitz: I never got hurt, so nothing was too scary. There is this big scene on the beach at the end, and they shot it in Georgia. They had me wired up and really high in the air and zooming around the beach. It was really cold and I was wearing these leather shorts and this backless top. I was up there for a week, zooming around and freezing my ass off. And then there was this one stunt I didn’t get to do. They hung my stunt double out of this helicopter over the ocean. I was like, “Why can I do that?” And they were like, “Um, no.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “X-Men: First Class.”