Inside The Characters Of 'X-Men: Apocalypse' In The Cast's Own Words

X-Men: Apocalypse has a huge cast of characters, some of whom are returning to roles from previous films, and quite a few of whom are inheriting younger versions of characters that appeared in the first three films. There are even a few new additions, such as Psylocke. While on the set of X-Men: Apocalypse last year we talked to many of the cast members about what is new and different for their roles in this film.

Below, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Olivia Munn, Tye Sheridan, Nicholas Hoult, and Michael Fassbender explain where their characters are in life as the new film opens.

Quicksilver x-menEvan Peters, Quicksilver

Peters explained that Quicksilver has "kind of matured a little bit. He's gotten into music, cleaned it up a little bit. He's not quite the klepto that he was when you first saw him. He's kind of chilled out."

As for him working with the younger X-Men, they "all sort of get grouped together and sort of have to bond quickly to get out of the situation and also to deal with the impending doom. They all kind of come together and bond pretty well and become friends."

The relationship between Quicksilver and Magneto is big, too. "It's like an adoptive child or any kind of child who has a strange father trying to — he knows who he is now so he is trying to find him. He's been searching for him. It's been 10 years and he hasn't found him and then something happens. I have learned that [Magneto is] my father at this point."

But that hasn't pushed Quicksilver into dangerous territory. "I still think he's good. He hasn't gone to the dark side. I think he understands why Erik is the way that he is and does these things. I think he has a lot of sympathy for him and empathy and knows what he's going through and is trying to help him really."

x-men-apocalypse-nightcrawlerKodi Smit-McPhee, Nightcrawler

As a younger version of the character originated by Alan Cumming, Nightcrawler is both familiar and unknown. Smit-McPhee says, "We kind of get to see the side of Nightcrawler that we love so much in the comics. The more vulnerable, swashbuckling, joyous, random personality that we love, but also so grounded in his faith at a young age as well, as we went with the choice to still have the [facial] designs. So, it's a mix of ideas, but something that I believe is pretty faithful to what the fans enjoy."

According to the actor, Nightcrawler and Angel "do have a little bit of an ongoing scuffle and it's very entertaining."

x-men-apocalypse-cyclopsTye Sheridan, Cyclops

The most reticent of the actors, at least when speaking to press, Tye Sheridan let Kodi Smit-McPhee do a lot of the talking when we spoke to the two of them together. "[This is] the younger version" of the character, but Sheridan isn't trying to be glib. "I mean, everyone's a different person when they're younger. You evolve as a human being with knowledge and attitude and challenges and obstacles in life. Why is he the way he is in the first two or three movies? What made him that guy? What obstacles did he go through to get to that point? And that's kind of what I get to explore in this."

The awakening of his powers takes place in "the middle of America and he's... a normal kid, but starting to have strange... not visions, but feelings and... mutant feelings, basically."

Olivia Munn, Psylocke

Munn has a deep and very passionate understanding of this classic X-Men character. "Psylocke is 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. She's very comfortable in her skin."

"The similarity between all the Horsemen is that they are all in need of a leader. They're all broken in some way, lost in some way, and Apocalypse, that's how he chooses these people as Horsemen. One, because of their powers. Because they're extremely powerful. Two, because they can be influenced. 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.'"

"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 a very powerful weapon for Apocalypse."

"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. 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."

hoult-beast-x-menNicholas Hoult, Beast

We've seen Hoult in the role of Beast twice already, and his version of the character has had time to evolve.

"Ten years on, the school's going well, it's got all these new students, Charles and I are kind of running it I guess. It's a lot happier than the last movie where I was kind of his enabler and having dark days in the X-Mansion. Hank, since the last movie, still believes that the world kind of needs the X-Men, and that even though there's peace between humans and mutants at this point, he senses trouble and has kind of been building this jet war plan and kind of preparing for the worst. But other than that, other than his pessimism and preparing for the worst, he's hoping for the best and having fun teaching I think."

"He's gotta build inventions for some of the new characters that are having trouble with their powers, so he's building some stuff for that. He's actually gotten a lot better with his inventions in this movie, they seem to work. I don't know if you remember in First Class but he'd build stuff and it never worked most of the time."

"He's definitely more mature. He's aiming much less to please everyone around him and becoming more of a standalone person. He and Charles are more contemporaries, whereas in First Class he was very much Charles's student, then that developed in Days of Future Past where he was almost Alfred to his Batman. Now they're working together."

"He kind of takes Cyclops under his wing a little bit. Hank does take on a more paternal role with all the youngsters—not as much as Professor X, because Professor X has got more of a connection with everyone because of his powers—but Hank is certainly kind of a figure in all of that as well. I'm taking care of all these youngsters, cause he's been through it and fought in battles and kind of lived it."

x-men-apocalypse-magnetoMichael Fassbender, Magneto

At the outset of Apocalypse, Magneto is living the closest he's ever had to a quiet life. "I start off in Poland. Erik is basically living a normal life, has a family, has fallen in love, and has basically disappeared for the last eight years or so. He doesn't use his powers, has left that life behind and lives a sort of simple life."

But then comes a time "where things are being taken away from him again in Poland," and Erik is "looking for an answer, or he's challenging God, it's like, 'What do you want from me? I've tried everything. I've tried to lead a good life. I've tried to do it correctly, whatever that is, and now you do this to me so what do you want?' And then [Apocalypse] arrives. It's like, 'Okay well something much more powerful than me has arrived.' He appreciates that this guy is going to do what he couldn't do. He's got just so much more power than Erik, he's such an immense force. In a way, it's like that classic thing of joining any cult or radical group, he's caught him at a very low, vulnerable point where he doesn't really care anymore whether he dies or not or what happens, so he's like, 'Yeah I'll join this guy. I'll go on this path of judgment.' Apocalypse is sort of bringing judgment to the Earth."

Don't expect much camaraderie with the other Horsemen. "He's not really into making friends, he's just kind of a bit dead really. In terms of when he joins them, he's got nothing to lose and it's just, 'Okay I want to bring pain on the human race and this is a great way to do it. The closest I've ever come to really doing it is with this guy and with this group, we have a chance of doing it actually.' So there's not really any need for him to bond or any of that, this is just something that's helping him. It's a sharp tool and me behind it."


X-Men: Apocalypse opens on May 27, 2016.