Shawn Ashmore on X-Men and The Following



With Season 3 of The Following starting back up on Fox, I had a chance to talk to Shawn Ashmore. Shawn spoke about the success of X-Men, as well as what makes The Following the show to watch.


Jim: Wow, Days of Future Past, I enjoyed reviewing that one. 


Shawn: Awesome, how did you like it?


Jim: I loved it.


Shawn: Good. 


Jim: I thought First Class was my favorite X-Men movie. 


Shawn: Oh, X2 is my favorite movie. 


Jim: I actually did a ranking of the Top 10 Superhero movies all-time, and X2 came in at number 5. 


Shawn: Nice! 


Jim: Days of Future Past and First Class were in the the right in the bottom 5. 


Shawn: Hey listen, the fact that there are three X-Men movies on the list is a good sign. 


Jim: How has the experience at this comic con (Chicago) been for you? 


Shawn: It’s a great opportunity to be in genre kinda work. This is an ideal place to come to and interact with people who allow you to make these films. We could not make these giant movies without such a solid passionate fan base. To come and get to talk to people about the films they love, the films they didn’t love, you know what I mean? You get a lot of honesty as an actor that tries to improve all the time. I’m also a fan. I great up reading comic books, and lot of sci-fi fantasy stuff, so this is kind of my world in a way. I’m probably not as dedicated as a lot of the people here, but I am a fan and enjoy being here and interacting with the people that are passionate about the projects I’m making. It’s cool.


Jim: You’ve done a lot of film work for young guy. Seems like X-Men was your launching pad to prominence, and with you now doing The Following, your acting career has spanned for a while, Frozen, Solstice, Mother’s Day..


Shawn: Wow, right on, thank you. 


Jim: What has been about films like X-Men that grabs the fans base?


Shawn: I think it’s the source material. You have decades and decades of material and characters to draw from. Characters that have been developed over those years. I think the films benefit from that. Those characters have been thought out in different iterations over the years, so the films pluck the best characters and moments from such a big universe. Also, I think people can specifically relate to the X-Men. At every point in every persons life they have felt like an outsider, like a mutant.  


Jim: It’s a commentary on society, race, and gender. 


Shawn: Absolutely, and when I did X2, the scene where I tell my parents I’m a mutant it’s the scene everyone called the “coming out scene”. There were sexual undertones put into that. What was interesting is that everybody put their personal experience onto that. Some people were like, that was me coming out to my parents. Other people said, that was like me when I told my parents I wanted to study to be an actor. No matter what the circumstance is I think people find a way to project that onto the X-Men. They are outsiders, they are different, but instead of being put down because of that they are heroes and uplifted because they are different. I think that is a great message, and I think that’s what makes the X-Men different from other superhero franchises. 


Jim: The Following, such a big show with a cult like following. What about that show appealed to you?


Shawn: What appealed to me about the show was Kevin Bacon and Kevin Williamson. When I read the pilot, I also knew the director Marcos Siega we worked together before. So, there were all these pieces I knew about, and such a pedigree with Kevin Williamson coming from horror stuff like Scream. I knew he was a master of writing thrills, suspense, and horror, and that’s what I thought the show needed was sustain great characters, but also have the suspense that you need to sustain


Jim: There are cliffhangers every week. TV is missing that in many shows.


Shawn: He does it without even blinking. That’s his wheelhouse. Working with Kevin Bacon was a huge draw. I haven’t done television in a long time, but those things put together were interesting so I was like lets jump in and make a show.


Jim: Any upcoming projects for you that you are excited about?


Shawn: Honestly, it’s all The Following. We had a short hiatus. Yeah, it’s 8 days an episode. We shoot 15 episodes back to back, so it takes about 7 to 8 months, and it’s a long haul but can’t wait to get started again.


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About Jim Alexander

When it boils down to it, Jim's passion is entertainment. Aside from being an avid sports fan, that follows all things NFL, NBA, and Soccer. He currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago. At the core of his interests...movies! Whether trying to catch the newest flick coming out this weekend, or the latest On Demand release, to heated debates with his friends and colleagues about the most recent "Box Office Blunder". The passion for movies lies deep within him. When he isn't writing, he immerses himself in his other interests; Acting and Radio Broadcasting. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimRko.

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