Run & Jump (15)

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - LM -

And as both men stride into their seven­ties they to­gether form the liv­ing core of X-Men.

It was James McAvoy, star of Atone­ment, Trance and Filth, who con­fessed to be­ing ner­vous around Ste­wart when they filmed a scene in­volv­ing a meet­ing be­tween the young and old Xavier char­ac­ters. It’s to Ste­wart’s credit that he recog­nised his co-star’s dis­com­fort and ap­pre­ci­ated it.

“It was chal­leng­ing be­cause of the na­ture of the scene that James and I had to play,” he re­calls.

“It was my last day of work on the movie and his first. So I was in quite a dif­fer­ent place and James had to pretty much start cold. But we both found the scene very in­ter­est­ing, and it pre­sented an act­ing chal­lenge as to how we would re­spond to be­ing face to face with our younger or older self.

“I found that chal­lenge fas­ci­nat­ing and I wish we’d had more time on-screen to­gether, be­cause I’ve ad­mired him for many years but never be­fore had an op­por­tu­nity to work with him un­til he shot that one scene.”

There is a sense of Ste­wart wind­ing down. He will be 74 in July and, in re­cent years, has been seen to be re­con­nect­ing with his York­shire roots. And 14 years af­ter the orig­i­nal X-Men came out Ste­wart clearly still en­joys the day job.

“The drama and in­ten­sity re­ally never let up for us in this film. In the past we’ve had lighter mo­ments and some­times even scenes of quite con­ven­tional ac­tion. But not in this one, be­cause the ex­ter­nal threat is so present and so de­mand­ing that ev­ery­thing is at a high level of ten­sion.

“It’s not too chal­leng­ing pick­ing up the X-Men reins again.”

X-Men: Days of Fu­ture Past (12A) is on sat­u­ra­tion re­lease.

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