Take Five with...Shawn Ashmore: Five Superhero Secrets

Even after 14 years and four X-Men movies, Shawn Ashmore is in no rush to put his days playing Bobby Drake on ice. He was thrilled to re-team with castmates Hugh Jackman and Anna Paquin for X-Men: Days of Future Past (now on DVD).

Here, the Richmond, B.C. native – who now calls sunny Los Angeles home – explains why playing comic book hero Iceman still gives him chills.

One of the most exciting things about being part of a superhero franchise is that when it comes right down to it, you know you’re going to be part of a huge action sequence. I love the stunt rehearsal. I did a lot of wirework on Days of Future Past and it was a lot of fun. I know some people get nervous because it can be daunting, but I really enjoy it. It’s a unique experience. If you’re uncomfortable, or you get a little battered and bruised, it’s all worth it because it looks incredible onscreen.

Just putting on that costume makes you feel like a superhero. You put the gloves on, the boots, the jacket and it does take you to another place. For the X-Men, these are our uniforms. My jacket was oversized like a snowboarding jacket, which I love. I grew up snowboarding and skateboarding, so I thought that was really cool. I’ve never had a cape, but I could tell immediately that when Ian [McKellen] or Patrick [Stewart] put their capes on it changed the way they move.

The people who I really worked with on X-Men: Days of Future Past were the trilogy cast members. To get to watch Ian and Patrick work together is incredible. I think they knew each other before the X-Men franchise but they’ve become better friends over the years so to come to set and watch them goof around was amazing. I think they had more fun than anybody, to be honest. There were several takes when they were just cracking up, and then all of us couldn’t stop laughing. I guess it’s kind of surprising how much fun they continue to have working together.

I think that as you play a character over this many years, you can’t help but infuse the character with [your personality]. It’s inevitable that you’re going to share some qualities with [them]. What I think is interesting is that as I’ve grown and matured physically as an actor I’ve got to continue playing this character, which is unique. I can’t help but think that there’s a bit of a bond between Bobby Drake and me.

You get recognized but nothing’s really changed. Obviously as an actor, the X-Men was a big deal for me and has made me more visible in the public eye. You have people that enjoyed the film, who come up to say hi, and that’s the whole point. The reason I get to continue doing this is because people are seeing it and I really appreciate that. I don’t put too much weight on [expectations] because I’m not the characters that I play. I just be myself and go from there.

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