X-Men films fan interview with Jamie Fay: “I’ve made great friends because of the X-Men.”

Today we’re interviewing Jamie Fay (@jamiefayx), an artist who is known globally and on social media for his amazing fan illustrations of genre characters, including the X-Men. We talked about his thoughts on 20th Century Fox’s X-Men films and why he’s a fan of the series.

Hi, Jamie! First off, I want to say I’m a huge fan of your artwork, especially the X-MEN: APOCALYPSE drawings you did of the mutants in their new costumes. To start things off, I want to ask how you were first introduced to the X-Men. Was it through the comics, animated series, video games or films?

JAMIE: “I was first introduced to the X-Men through the Marvel Trading cards. I loved The PRYDE OF THE X-MEN episode and actually enjoyed the X-MEN game for NES.”

That’s cool! Why do you consider yourself an X-Men fan? Do you relate to their story in any way or would you even say they have affected your life?

“I think what I like the most is the under-laying story: those who are hated and despised for how they were born, fighting to protect those who may hate them. As someone who was into art and the band, I was sort of an outcast. I know what is was like to be on the outside looking in. I try to treat people the way I want to be treated. That’s my way of fighting for the better good of all.”

What a great answer! Are you pretty active in X-Men fandom on social media? If so, what do you think of the fan community?

“Yes. I’m on several X-Men and X-related Facebook groups. I get to talk with other fans when I draw them, which is the majority of my gallery on deviantART. I’ve made great friends because of the X-Men and groups on social media!”

Who are your favorite X-Men film characters in the films? Do you have a favorite actor portrayal?

“I love Jean (Famke and Sophie are doing amazing as her), Kitty (Ellen was a godsend for the character. Perfect casting) and Xavier (Sir Patrick and James are just great in their roles).

“But my favorite would have to be Hugh Jackman, with Famke Janssen a very close second. They really put a lot of heart into their characters and made them real. I love that they took the version of the character they were given and really made them their own and believable.”

I agree, they’re both fantastic actors and have done a great job portraying their character in every film they appeared in. Do you have a specific X-Men film that you watch most often?

“That’s a tough one. If you asked me my favorite X-Men film, it would change depending on my mood. So, with that in mind, it would be between X2, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and X-MEN:DAYS OF FUTURE PAST.

“X2 was just so perfect, in my opinion. Great fights and conflict. Great character moments. The scene with Jean at the end is so powerful and moving. She was fantastic in that scene.

“X-MEN:FIRST CLASS I loved how they were able to have an X-Men movie that didn’t revolve around Wolverine. The comics have a very large amount of stories that aren’t about him. It was fun. I loved the new mythos added to the storyline. I liked the younger cast.

“X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST is the combination of X2 and X-MEN: FIRST CLASS – combining the both casts and making them work together for a common goal. The story was great. The action was great. The stakes were very real.”

Are there any scenes you would remove from any of the film? Anything that sort of just bothers you?

“I think it wouldn’t be a scene, just the dialogue from it. In X-MEN, Storm and Toad battle it out on the Statue of Liberty and Storm strikes him with a lightning bolt, sending him flying away. But before that, spoke one, if not the worst, of the worst lines in all the movies. Storm in my all-time favorite comic book character and they just haven’t used her right. And to see a cool scene with her tarnished but a crazy line, makes me sad. She deserves a better line.”

Oh yeah, the iconic “Do you know what happens to a toad when it’s struck by lightning” line [laughs]. I don’t hate the line itself, but the delivery was meant to be different…more sarcastic, in a joking way. Speaking of the original X-Men film and cast, do you want to see that cast be integrated into films which take place in the future timeline or should they only focus on the second generation cast (Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Michael Fassbender, etc)?

“I think at this point, just stick with the younger cast, but stop using Mystique, Xavier and Magneto. They aren’t needed. Add in characters we have always wanted. Or characters that are good counterparts to those characters like Morph, Emma Frost and Polaris.

What are your favorite scenes out of the entire film series?

“The two scenes that really get me each time I watch the movies though, are both Jean Grey’s big scenes in both timelines. The Phoenix is such a force of nature and so important to the X-Men. But the actual reveal in Apocalypse is my all-time favorite seen in an X-Film.”

NEW MUTANTS, DEADPOOL 2 or X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX…which 2018 film are you looking forward to the most?

“Again, super excited for X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX because of them taking on one of the best comic book storylines EVER. Hopefully, they do it justice. I can’t wait to see more Sophie Turner as Jean/Phoenix and especially excited for Jessica Chastain as Lilandra.

“Out of the other two, I’m more excited for NEW MUTANTS than DEADPOOL 2 though. I have a closer connection to that group of characters. And I’m happy to see them taking on Demon Bear and having a horror element to the movie.”

I have a feeling Demon Bear is going to be incredible in live-action! In your opinion, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the X-Men films, in general?

“Some of the strengths and weaknesses come from the same sources: the story. I love they are doing their own thing. I look at it like the Ultimate line – story similarities but taking a different path using different characters. But I do think them straying from the source material too much has caused problems and I can think of several ways to have fixed the problems easily. Especially in [X-MEN: APOCALYPSE] and X3, which I liked both but can agree that they had major problems.

“I love that both casts have been able to get an incredible group of actors and actresses together. I’m really happy for the most part with all of the casting.”

Me too! Final question: X-Men or Brotherhood…whose side are you on?

“The X-Men. They want to do best for all people. Not just mutants. They believe we can all live in peace together and that is something that is definitely ringing true in today’s times with the hate and racial and religious biases that are hurting our country in the recent weeks. Why can’t the X-Men be real? We need them.”

I totally agree, Jamie. Thanks for the great chat!

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