Dark Phoenix actress Sophie Turner attended a special panel at New York Comic Con 2018 where she talked about her time on Game of Thrones and her upcoming X-Men movie.
Reporters in attendance asked her about sharing scenes with Michael Fassbender, her on-screen relationship with Scott Summers and everything in between. Here are the highlights from the Entertainment Weekly in the Studio @NYCC spotlight panel.
Did Famke Janssen reach out to you?
I emailed her when I got the role and said ‘I loved your work so much and you played Jean in such a heartbreaking and beautiful way and I wanted to emulate that and put my own spin on it. Is there any advice you can give, anything I should read or watch that you did?’ And she wrote back and said ‘I’m handing the baton to you, do with the role what you want this is a new thing for you.’ That was a big honor.
And then I met her at a party and ran up to her, hugged her and said “FAMKE!” She’s really sweet and supportive.
Did you do your research?
I probably watched the movies like 100 times. I was gifted one of the original Dark Phoenix comics from a friend so I read that. I did my research, but, one thing Simon wanted to really emphasize, especially with Dark Phoenix and all the other material in terms of the movies, this is a whole new kind of movie. Don’t rewatch the movies, this is a completely different take on Dark Phoenix because of the mood. A completely different take on an X-Men movie.
Did you know the next film would be Dark Phoenix when filming Apocalypse?
They tried to do Dark Phoenix before and Simon wrote that script, is there extra pressure to take this on?
Yes a lot of pressure. I knew Simon was taking me out to lunch and he sits me down and tells me it’s Dark Phoenix and I’m like “fuuuuck.” I know it’s one of the most loved stories of the X-men universe and for Simon to trust me enough with this responsibility is a big honor. And I want to do the fans of the original story justice, and of course there’s a lot of pressure especially having been done before. Simon would tell you that it was a B-plot of the movie and he felt it had to be the main plot of the movie.
It opens in 1992 and the X-Men are beloved. Where is Jean in the opening of the movie?
Jean is a teacher at Xavier’s School for the Gifted and Scott and I are in a steady, very loving relationship. Charles and I? You saw that connection in the last movie, he’s tapped into her power. And she’s in a very secure place in her life which is why everything goes haywire when this cosmic force arises.
It opens with the X-Men going to space, what was that like?
That was fun. It’s something we haven’t done in the X-Men universe before. It pushes the boundaries, it raises the stakes and it’s really cool to take it a completely different direction because all of the X-Men movies are on the ground or a villain starts shit. It’s very intense and exciting.
What’s it like working with Jessica Chastain?
It’s unbelievable to work with Jessica. She’s not one of the best actresses, she’s one of the coolest people. And she became a sort of mentor for me on set, and that’s funny because that’s what she is to Jean. So it parallels back. In this movie she’s different from anything you’ve seen, she’s the villain but not gimmicky and she’s very subtle. She’s haunting in this and I would be convinced to go anywhere with her.
She says when it looks like the women are always saving the men you should think about changing the latex. This is the thing about the X-Men movies. Some superhero movies can be farfetched, in these movies they deal with a lot of issues.
This movie is very different to any of the X-men movies. You have Logan which is a Western drama, Deadpool is a comedy. Dark Phoenix is more like a family drama, and is much more character-driven, emotional. Take away the superhero, fantastical parts of it and it’ll hold up as a very good movie. If you take the fantastical parts out of prior movies, you’ll only get half an hour of material.
What was like it filming the scene with Magneto on Genosha.
Very intimidating because he’s [Michael Fassbender] one of my favorite actors of all-time. It’s kind of a rollercoaster of a scene because you shift from one personality to the next to the next. Simon and I wrote down a Phoenix scale and this scene was jumping from one to five so it wasn’t too difficult.
You just have to think about mental illness, that you’re trying to hide something that is trying to punch its way out. It’s going to show itself and a lot of people can relate to that. And when she lets go with what we call Dark Phoenix, it’s a release for her. She finally stops and lets go and is euphoric and she becomes what this cosmic force wants her to be.
What is the dynamic between Scott and Jean during all this?
At the center of this movie is the relationship between Scott and Jean. There’s a theme throughout this movie of Jean feeling abandoned, and Scott is this one person who sticks by her while everything falls apart. It’s a brilliant, heartbreaking story for Scott but one his storyline deserved. In the movies he didn’t have this leading role, and this time Tye [Sheridan] steps up. It’s an amazing storyline for Scott and fans of Cyclops will be very happy about that. They are a full-functional relationship who can get married whenever they wanted to but it just starts to go out of line.
Would you be down to be in the MCU?
I don’t know. I feel the complexities of the X-men being shunned by society and segregated is not something that happens in the Avengers universe. Of course, I want to see them crossover but I don’t think the themes through X-men will collaborate well with the Avengers. It’ll be very different. If they do it, I’d love to see how it turns out.
Dark Phoenix will premiere in theaters June 7, 2019 [Source]