Thursday, January 21, 2016

Olivia Munn and Simon Kinberg Talk "X-Men: Apocalypse" & Psylocke


JoBlo: After a long run on G4’s Attack of the Show, Olivia Munn has begun branching over into the film world, making a big splash this year with both RIDE ALONG 2 and X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Playing the fan-favorite character of Betsy Braddock/Psylocke, Munn talks about her costume, training, powers, and personality of the famed badass mutant. In terms of the costume, which is typically a form-fitting one-piece bathing suit, Munn weighed in on its importance and image.

“Everybody together decides what the costume should look like, so it's like an art picture of, ‘Here's like what we think Psylocke is going to look like.’ There's my head. I was like, ‘Oh, you're going to want me to work out more than I've already ...’ Munn trails off, then elaborates. “I think my first thought was it has to be purple, because we were going up against time and making it. It was black at first...The latex is in black and all the armor is in black and it's just easier, but I was like, ‘You got to make it purple.’ That was kind of my first thought when I saw myself in the costume, which is the Photoshop. When I first saw myself completely put together, it was a very nerdy cool dream. It's just like, "Whoa." It just doesn't really seem real.”

In terms of how Munn views Psylocke in the X-Men cinematic universe, she says, “The way that I see Psylocke is as a very powerful weapon that has been used and abused by different people so that they could use her powers and she's somebody who's just looking for righteous purpose." As for Psylocke’s powers, Munn describes how they held back on certain elements, particularly her telepathic powers.

“Psylocke is telepathic and telekinetic. In the movie, we see her being a telekinetic. We don't see her being telepathic. It's a decision because this is the first time we've really been able to see the character of Psylocke and have her really, truly exist in the movie. I talked about it with Simon Kinberg. There's just so much going on, especially with Apocalypse's power, and then trying to take on all of the X-Men. When you are telepathic, I feel that it's a power that you want to hold close to your chest. It's a card that you don't want a lot of people to know about because it's so much more powerful when people don't know that you have this power.”

Munn elaborates on the sword fighting aspect, as well as Psylocke’s deadly psi-blade, saying she will utilize both in the film.

“Yeah, which is why I had to learn to use a regular sword with both hands, so I can switch in between. It's more work for the special effects guys but it's pretty cool. That was actually James McAvoy's idea. He was like, "’f you can use both hands,’ he's like, ‘Then you can go, you can switch, you can...’ Because the thing about sword work is that you're always keeping somebody off. Like they don't really know it's happening. You're really throwing people off. Your opponent. He was like, "Well, you can really throw them off if you're going from your real sword to your psychic sword and then just switching hands and it's just...’ I was like, ‘That sounds awesome.’”

In terms of Psylocke’s personality, Munn says, “She’s methodical and very loyal and she's very calm and she's fearless. Her aggression is below the surface, but it's like, it's bubbling ... It's right there at any moment to access. She's a very calm, easygoing, kind of person within this world of insanity, but she's so powerful and strong. That feeling of when did anything where you're learning a skill. Once you learn it, you feel really powerful. She's very comfortable in her skin.”

Don't expect to see much about Psylocke's comic book past, however, as her origins as Betsy Braddock, sister of Brian Braddock aka Captain Britain, and the events that led to her becoming this version of Psylocke are not explored here, but hinted at. "There's small, subtle references to it with Apocalypse," says Munn. "For people who love and know Psylocke, they will know who she is fully formed. You would know her storyline."


ScreenRant: The actress pointed out that each of the Horseman is lost in some way, which is a fact that Apocalypse – like any other successful cult leader – is able to sense, and exploit to his own ends. Of course, that doesn’t exactly mean that Psylocke is forced to do anything she doesn’t do willingly (unfortunately, the story of how she came to be recruited and re-costumed may not be given much screen time in the finished film).

Munn explains: That’s the amazing thing about cult leaders. They can really see when people are weak and how to prey on that and capitalize on that. You see that with Magneto and Storm and Angel and myself. We all are in a place where we’re really needing somebody to come in and say, “This is the way.” [Apocalypse] first meets her and she’s the bodyguard. She’s got this amazing skill and she has zero fear when she goes against him, so he needs her. What he sees in her is that she is someone who can protect and has no fear and is an amazing fighter and has amazing abilities. She’s doing things because she wants to do them. She’s like, “I want to join you. You haven’t fooled me into joining you. I get it, I see what you’re doing, and I want to be part of it.” In the end, they manipulate her, but it’s always her choice to join it.

Collider: The producer/writer Simon Kinberg used the addition of Olivia Munn’s Psylocke as an example, revealing that the character was a late addition to the Apocalypse ensemble:

“Psylocke was quite a late addition to the script and the movie. Bryan Singer and I were up here in Montreal and we felt like we needed a different Horseman, and we just started going through the cycling of the different Apocalypse Horsemen over history. We felt like we wanted it to be a female character and we pretty quickly settled on Psylocke. And super randomly I think a week or two earlier I was in Los Angeles and we were casting Deadpool. I had met with Olivia Munn for a character in Deadpool that ultimately wasn’t the right character for her, but we were like ‘We’ve gotta keep in touch, she has to do something in the X-Men world.’ And Bryan and I were sitting in Montreal a few weeks later and saying we should do Psylocke and I was like, ‘Dude, I just met with Olivia Munn two weeks ago. She’d be great.’ Then we looked at pictures of her online and I emailed her and I said, ‘I think this is a great character for you’ and she immediately emailed me back and sent me all this fan art online that fans had done of her as Psylocke. So that’s how that one came to be.

12 comments:

CmX said...

So she's just a telekinetic and isn't brainwashed into joining Apocalypse. I don't see her surviving if she's protecting him by choice.

Guy McNichts said...

It sounds like they wanted a disposable hench-person for Apocalypse and just picked Psylocke's name out of a hat.

CmX said...

I agree. And the fact that both were schooled on who Psylocke was by Munn is not a good sign.

Leo Polonia said...

That was a major disappointment, no psychic knive, no butterfly signature, no accent... is that really her or just some jedi on a bathing suit?

At least she'll be taken more seriously than she was in Last Stand (it's not like it could be any worse, right?), but it all sounds really rushed. I wish they'd use her stealth ninja side more, like using her tp to hide her presence from Charles and Jean, the other horseman are "flashy" enough.

I wish she was never given tk, I'd rather have her tp + shadow teleporting powers... those were original and way more fitting than the tp + tk combo.

FSaker said...

Oh, come on, it's not that bad. Olivia Munn is appearing everywhere to promote this film, from magazine covers and photoshoots to lots of interviews, so I think Psylocke won't be a minor character this time (sure, she may not be one of the protagonists, but I doubt FOX would put so much focus on Olivia in the promotions if she were barely in the film at all).

Plus, she mentioned in one of those interviews that she would really like to be part of a Psylocke spin-off film - and while I doubt a project like that would ever happen, the sole fact that she's even considering this idea seems to indicate that Psylocke may survive the events of X-Men:Apocalypse, after all.

As for Betsy following Apocalypse voluntarily, he seems to be a charismatic leader in the film, so maybe in the end his followers (including her) will be able to see through his agenda and leave him. Or maybe Apocalypse doesn't die by the end of the film and Psylocke runs away with him (because unless Oscar Isaac signed a contract just for one film, FOX would be really stupid to let such an incredible actor out of its future films).

Lucas Iglesias said...

She does have the psychic knife...

Lucas Iglesias said...

It's actually good for the actress to know the role she will be playing well enough to school her director and writer in it, we'll at least get a decent Psylocke

Alexander said...

http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/01/24/x-men-filmmakers-explain-apocalypse-and-his-powers?utm_source=IGN%20hub%20page&utm_medium=IGN%20(front%20page)&utm_content=8&utm_campaign=Blogroll

Bryan Singer & his team gave an interview about Apocalypse that touches a bit on Psylocke & his cult leader like appeal. They even talk about Betsy's relationship issues in the comics a bit.

Guy McNichts said...

Okay, I hope I'm reading that interview wrong or they just used a poor choice of words/phrasing, but...

"And then lastly the sexual component, because cult leaders tend to sexualize their position and have sex with the half the people in their cult. So the Psylocke character, who's a very bright character in the comic but always looking for guidance and leadership, always trying to find the right guy. So she starts with one, and then she ends up with Apocalypse in this one."

This makes it sound like Betsy is going to be Apocalypse's f**k-buddy.
Psylocke is honestly the only X-Men character I really care about, and this movie is becoming less and less appealing by the moment.

Alexander said...

I'm hoping they mean his appeal & charisma. Things that have let cult leaders seem so powerful to the lost. Mason, Jim Jones, Hitler etcetera, they where not attractive men but their presence drew others to them. Unfortunately has we've all debated on here, Betsy has been defined in recent years by her relationships. Warren, Neal, Alt Creed, both Fantos, fwb thing with Cable. It's perfectly fine for her to be in a relationship but that interview shows one of her biggest current problems: She's getting defined by her relationships other than just being Betsy.

Brian said...

Okay, they need to stop talking about the film. The more they discuss their approach to the plot and characters the less excited I get.

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