James McAvoy on Making Charles Xavier a Villain

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is very much a story about the titular entity as Jean Grey is consumed with a cosmic force prompting her to maximize her abilities but question her leadership. It's a story pulled from Chris Claremont's Marvel Comics run and one which has been loosely adapted in different iterations of books, cartoons, and movies. This time around, Sophie Turner's Jean Grey is influenced by the Phoenix Force after growing up under the leadership of Charles Xavier. As the story will go, Charles will learn a great deal about himself, going as far as realizing he might have been a villain all along.

After playing the role of Professor X in several other X-Men movies, James McAvoy was excited to explore a more corrupt version of the iconic Marvel character.

"It's great," McAvoy told ComicBook.com. "I've always thought that Charles' Achilles heel or potentially massive Achilles heel, huge Achilles heal, is his vanity and his ego. And that definitely is what is getting in front of him in this film. And that's expressed in a kind of geopolitical scale, what he's become, instead of this teacher, leader, healer type figure that he's always been in the past. He's a politician."

In fact, the idea of becoming a world leader has so enticed Charles, that he has his eyes on bigger roles "I was about to say, he was running for President," Magneto actor Michael Fassbender added to McAvoy's comments.

"Head of the UN, something like that," McAvoy explained. "He's a politician, and he's more concerned with the message than the application of that message. And it was fun. It was really good to see that actually get investigated."

While McAvoy and Fassbender are clearly good friends and have a brilliant chemistry and off the screen, their characters don't share such a relationship, outwardly. "I mean, it's pretty bad," McAvoy said of Charles and Erik's relationship in Dark Phoenix. "We're not in conflict, but I think they're both a bit over it."

"I think it's kind of that thing of, it's like checked-out a little bit from the friendship," Fassbender said. "You know, at the beginning of the movie for sure, it's like, okay, look, you know. For me, I still think that Charles is Erik's best friend."

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What type of Professor X do you want to see on the big screen? Are you excited for him to take on more of a bad guy role? Share your thoughts in the comment section of send them my way on Instagram and Twitter!

X-Men: Dark Phoenix hits theaters on June 7.

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