In a summer-movie season filled with caped crusaders, hammer-wielders and other assorted superheroes, a casual filmgoer might have trouble separating the mutants from future Avengers and all the complicated mythologies and story lines that follow.

When MTV News sat down with Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy recently to talk all things "X-Men: First Class," we asked them to explain what separates their characters — Erik Lehnsherr/ Magneto and Charles Xavier/ Professor X, respectively — from the rest of the summer's superpowered pack.

"Well, it's not in 3-D, that's a start," Fassbender said.

"It's not in 3-D, thank the heavens," McAvoy agreed. "I think the X-Men, the X-people, mutants, they use their powers for good, just like a superhero does, but they don't feel like superheroes. They feel like real people more — maybe that's the thing that sets it apart."

"I think the philosophy of it as well," Fassbender added. "The idea of alienation and misfits in society and how they struggle to be accepted and to find a place for them in society, I think that's a universal theme and why people across the world find them intriguing."

Regarding Fassbender's portrayal of the infamous mutant and future supervillain, we asked if the James Bond-ian aspects of his performance were intentional or based on the swingin' '60s-era setting of the film.

"I just saw it as an opportunity to do a really elaborate James Bond audition," he joked, which sent McAvoy into a mini-fit of giggles. "I just really exploited that fact really, and one always has to worry about the next job, that's the problem," he said with a smile.

"In all seriousness," he continued, "[director] Matthew [Vaughn] did say to me that the fact that it was set in the '60s, and this character, Erik, he had envisioned him as a James Bond from the past, perhaps the Sean Connery-type mold," Fassbender revealed. "I was like, 'That's interesting,' but it didn't really affect my portrayal. I just concentrated on what was in the comic books. The biography available in the comic books was so dense that I was spoiled for choice to go away and create this Machiavellian character."

Check out everything we've got on "X-Men: First Class."

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