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May 2006
XMEN 3 The Last Stand: An Interview with Aaron Stanford and Dania Ramirez

XMEN 3 The Last Stand: An Interview with Aaron Stanford and Dania Ramirez, continued
By Wilson Morales
May 15, 2006

How was it on the set after directors were switched? Was there more pressure to get certain scenes done?

AS: I'm sure that Brett felt some pressure but they try to keep everything from the actors anyway. They don't want to tell you anything; so, as far as we were concerned, I didn't feel like the days were more rushed or anything like that. We still had tremendous amount of down time while they painstakingly set up every single special effect shot or whatever it happened to be.

How many days did you spend on the big battle scene in the end?

AS: I don't know. Just the scene where we are walking across the Golden Gate bridge took a month of showing up and shooting the scene in the rain and in the cold until like 6:30am - 7am or whenever the sun came up, then you couldn't shoot anymore, but we would just be.

DR: It's funny because I see the movie and I'm so excited about it and I love it and you forget how hard it was. I remembered when we were shooting that particular scene and shooting my scenes during the day and then going there at night and the hours were crazy, but then you watch the movie, and say that it was worth it.

How many times did you reshoot that scene?

AS: They just did every angle that you can possibly imagine and they shot on the set that they built on the bridge; then they shot us inside the sound stage with the green screen behind it and every possible angle they shot it over and over again.

DR: I think Brett likes to do a lot of takes and he lots to hold a lot of spaces.

With so many new faces on the film as well as the returnees, did you get a chance to bond off-screen?

DR: We were there for 5  months.

AS: We definitely all got along. When you are on set in Vancouver and everyone's away from their friends and families, I think you would have gone if you didn't try to get along with one another. Ian McKellen was always hosting some brunch or a cocktail party every other day, so we always found stuff to do.

Aaron, have you heard anything about doing a prequel or sequel to "The Hills Have Eyes"?

AS: No, I've heard them talk about the possibility of shooting a sequel but at this point who could say. I think they made a sequel to the original which I heard was wretched. I don't know how you would make a sequel to this, so I don't know.

Dania, what was the audition process like for you?

DR: What was interesting about it, like I said, I never watched X-Men 1 or 2 is that I had just came back from Thailand, and I was doing an independent film there and my agent called the casting director and said, "I want you to see this girl". So, I went in and X-Men is really top secret. We didn't get any sides in advance and we get there and you get a scene from the comic book and it's really hard stuff because it's not written by a screenwriter. At the time, they were casting the role of Stacy X and they had gone everywhere in the world to try to find this character and they couldn't find the right girl for it. So, I went and I walk in and Stacy X is white, blue eyes, blond hair and obviously not me, and I looked around and said to myself that there's no way that I would get this movie and why am I here?, but I still wanted to do a good job for the casting director, so I went in and did my thing. I booked a flight to New York, came to see my family and I get a call saying the director really loves my audition and would I come back in. I started to find out, my manager and everyone was really excited, and I was like, "Oh wow! It's a big movie, what's the big deal?" I went in and did the audition again, but again the character wasn't me and if you know Marvel Comics, they try to stay true to the character as possible, so I just wasn't a right fit for the character, but they really liked me, so they eventually found a character whose background was unknown and fitted that to me. The first month and a half that I was in Vancouver was figuring what my hair was going to be and what was going to work for that particular character and so we all found Callisto as we went along. But the time we shot, we knew who she was, but it was an interesting process.

How did you deal with that when you were handed a comic book side?

DR: For me, I just tried to be committed to whatever I'm doing and they have to believe what I'm saying, so if I'm saying "I will kill you with an ax", I have to believe in that and I think it came across and thank God that it did and now here I am.

Dania, at one point you were attached to "American Gangster" with Denzel Washington when Antoine Fuqua was the director. Are you still in the film?

DR: I was attached to "American Gangster". I actually have a meeting shortly after doing these interviews to discuss that particular project. They changed directors and I think every director wants to be able to make their own choice so at this point I'm not attached per se but I'm working towards that.

Were there any shenanigans on the set amongst all of you?

AS: Vinnie Jones was quite a character. He always had a funny story to tell. He was always messing with somebody. There was a second AD on set that he was friends with but he was always picking on him. With his 350 pound muscle suit he was always picking the guy by the ankle and swinging him around.

What was the make-up process like?

DR: For my character, I think it was really simple. I think the hardest part was coming up with the designs of the tattoos. I have a tattoo on my face, one on my chest, and one in my arm and coming up with the design was the hardest part. Once they had the design it didn't that long. They put it on with water and seal it with makeup and even out my skin. To make my skin look glowy and tan was pretty much the process for me.

Aaron, did you spend time online to get feedback on the film and your character?

AS: I try not to, for the same reason I try not to read reviews. If you accept the good then you have to accept the bad. When people talk online there's no sense that they are talking about real people who might actually have real feelings, so I find that's it wise to not go looking for comments about your work online.

What's next?

AS: I will go shoot a film with Mary Stuart Masterson directing and I will be shooting in upstate New York and it's called "Cake Eaters". I don't know the rest of the cast but a young actor names J.C Bartuck wrote the script and he'll be playing the lead.

Have you heard anything about a spin-off involving your characters?

DR: Like I said, we're the last to hear anything.

AS: Well, I'm sure that you know that they're making a Wolverine movie.

DR: I'm in season finale of "The Sopranos". I'm really excited about that because I've been a fan of the show for years. I can't say anything about my part other than I might come back.

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