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Meet the ''X-Men 2'' cast

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Meet the new mutants of May’s highly anticipated ”X2” — and find out what happens to the eight original characters by Adam Duerson

 

(a.k.a. Yuriko Oyama)
 

ABOUT THE ACTRESS At 35 (yes, that’s 3-5), Hu is best known as ”The Scorpion King”’s sexy sorceress, and recently starred Jet Li-DMX pic ”Cradle 2 the Grave.” She cut her teeth on TV’s ”Martial Law,” ”Nash Bridges,” and ”Sunset Beach.”

IN THE COMICS Hu plays the villainous Stryker’s personal assistant, Yuriko Oyama, who’s secretly the claw-equipped Lady Deathstrike. In the comic books, this feared mutant is a prominent ”X”-villain and archenemy of Wolverine, whom she holds responsible for her father’s death.

IN THE MOVIE Hu will be closely tied to Stryker. And she promises to put her martial arts background to good use in her action sequences. ”I’ve been doing karate for a couple of years now and I have a black belt,” Hu says. ”It sounds a lot more impressive than it is. All it really means is that my teacher likes me.”

HER ”X”-PERIENCE She’s a comic geek… sort of. ”I was more of an ‘Archie’ and ‘Richie Rich’ girl,” claims the admitted ”X-Men” comics virgin.

HOW HU GOT THE PART ”I don’t know how I got it,” says the actress, whose audition required her to read ”only five or six lines. Maybe they figured I’d just look good in the suit.”

imageCredit = ‘Kelly Hu: Fitzroy Barrett/Globe Photos; Lady Deathstrike: © Marvel Comics’;

 

ABOUT THE ACTOR Long before Anthony Hopkins was sipping Chianti with fava beans and liver, Cox, 56, donned the white prison scrubs as Hannibal Lecter in Michael Mann’s ”Manhunter,” the prelude to ”Silence of the Lambs.” Since then, he’s appeared in ”Rushmore,” ”Rob Roy,” and summer 2002’s ”The Bourne Identity.”

IN THE COMICS General Stryker is a human character based loosely on Reverend William Stryker from ”God Loves, Man Kills.” The former Army Ranger’s hatred of mutants once led him to murder the abnormal son his wife delivered — and then snap her neck, too.

IN THE MOVIE Cox describes Stryker as ”a wealthy ex-military man who has a problem with mutants.” What’s more, ”Magneto and Xavier are forced to unite while I’m trying to kill off mutants and do the nasty.” Cox also confirms that Stryker has something to do with introducing the Sentinels — monstrous government-funded, mutant-killing robots that play a large role in the Marvel comics — and says he holds a special place in Wolverine’s past.

HIS ”X”-PERIENCE Having never read the comic, Cox became aware of the movie only after seeing a little bit of the film on a plane.

HOW COX GOT THE PART Through determination. ”[Director] Bryan [Singer] asked me to work with him a number of times, but we never did,” says Cox. ”It’s been a matter of juggling everybody’s dates. Then he saw me in ‘L.I.E.’ and was impressed with my work, so he finally said, ‘I want you to do this — we just have to work it out.”’

imageCredit = ‘Brian Cox: Ed Geller/Globe Photos; Reverend Stryker: © Marvel Comics’;

(a.k.a. Kurt Wagner)
 

ABOUT THE ACTOR Franchise pics are nothing new to this Scottish actor, who starred in the ongoing series ”The Flintstones,” ”Spy Kids” (he had a cameo in summer 2002’s sequel after a lead role in the first), and ”GoldenEye,” as a Bond baddie. Cumming, 37, is currently working on adapting his novel, ”Tommy’s Tale,” for the screen.

IN THE COMICS The German-born Wagner joined the X-Men when Professor Xavier saved him from an angry mob that was convinced he was a demon. Among his mutant abnormalities: a spaded tail, three-fingered hands, the ability to crawl walls and teleport, and blue skin — a trait he shares with his mother, Mystique (played by Rebecca Romijn-Stamos in the movie). Curiously, Cumming is Romijn-Stamos’ real-life elder by eight years.

IN THE MOVIE Cumming looks strikingly like the comic’s spade-tailed, blue-toned teleporter. And by the movie’s end, Wagner will be a full-fledged X-Man fighting alongside the team. ”It’s a bit ‘Matrix’-y,” Cumming says of his wire-guided action stunts.

HIS ”X”-PERIENCE He’s a rookie. ”I knew nothing about ‘X-Men,’ but I’ve been in many things where I knew nothing about it beforehand, and everybody else did,” says Cumming. ”’The Flintstones’ — I had no idea it had been on TV or that I was playing someone that everybody in America was familiar with. That’s actually quite good, for an actor to be sort of ignorant.”

HOW CUMMING GOT THE PART He says director Singer had him in mind from the beginning. Still, Internet rumors had Ethan Embry (”Can’t Hardly Wait”) all but sealed for the role while Cumming fought to get out of a contract for the television pilot ”Zero Effect.” When that series failed to get picked up, Cumming finally signed on to ”X-Men 2.”

imageCredit = ‘Alan Cumming: Henry McGee/Globe Photos; Nightcrawler: © Marvel Comics’;

(a.k.a. John Allerdyce)
 

ABOUT THE ACTOR No wonder Entertainment Weekly named him to the 2002 It List. With his first four movies, Stanford, 25, has scored a Woody Allen pic (”Hollywood Ending”), a Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee (”Tadpole”), a summer blockbuster (”X Men 2,” knock on wood), and a Spike Lee joint (”25th Hour,” alongside ”X-Men 2” costars Anna Paquin and Brian Cox).

IN THE COMIC The villain Pyro rides with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. His powers allow him to manipulate fire, which he usually projects from a backpack flamethrower.

IN THE MOVIE Allerdyce begins as a student at Professor Xavier’s academy and a pal to fellow X-Kids Rogue and Iceman. As ”X-Men 2” progresses, he’ll realize his powers and drift toward his inevitable future as an ”X-Men” villain. ”We’ll definitely see a lot of different sides to him,” says Stanford.

HOW STANFORD GOT THE PART He auditioned. ”Because of confidentiality, they gave me the smallest little scenes to try out with,” he says. ”One of the scenes was two lines, one of them was four. As soon as you get started, it’s over.”

HIS ”X”-PERIENCE Stanford is a frustrated past reader. ”I didn’t follow the whole ‘X-Men’ story because it got too complicated,” he says. ”I’d pick up a comic book and have no idea what was going on.”

imageCredit = ‘Aaron Stanford: Jim Spellman/WireImage.com; Pyro: © Marvel Comics’;

(a.k.a. Bobby Drake)
 

ABOUT THE ACTOR The 22-year-old brings ‘N Sync-ish good looks to the cast of young X-Kids. Before making a brief cameo in the original ”X-Men,” he was best known for appearing in 10 made-for-TV movies (”Guitarman” and ”Wolf Girl,” among others) over the past decade.

IN THE COMICS This original member of the X-Men battles villains with his ability to create and manipulate snow and ice into just about any form. He’s also a hothead who has left the group a number of times in fits of rage.

IN THE MOVIE A student at Professor Xavier’s academy, Drake dates classmate Rogue (Anna Paquin). And while he doesn’t become a full-fledged X-Man, he does use his ice-forming skills in an extended action sequence.

HIS ”X”-PERIENCE Ashmore’s a longtime fan of the comic and its Fox Network cartoon spin-off. And which character did he most want to play? ”I kind of went for any part I could get,” he says.

HOW ASHMORE GOT THE PART He was one of very few ”X-Men” cast members not contractually obligated to do a sequel. ”I kind of found out [the studio wanted me back] last minute,” he says. ”I guess I could have turned it down, but that never really crossed my mind.”

imageCredit = ‘Iceman: © Marvel Comics’;

SOPHOMORES ALL (From left) Jackman, Marsden, Stewart, and Berry from their first outing
 

Patrick Stewart Professor Xavier
The wheelchair-bound X-Men leader falls into Stryker’s hands in ”X2,” which means danger for all of mutantkind as Xavier is forced to use his powerful telepathy for villainous ends. And the only man who might be able to save the professor is his arch-enemy, Magneto.

Hugh Jackman Wolverine
The X-Men’s resident bad boy was last seen motorcycling off into the distance to investigate his past. In ”X2,” Wolvie crosses paths with Stryker, who knows something about the nightmares that haunt him.

Anna Paquin Rogue
A troubled teen with some serious boy issues, this mutant was left heartbroken when Wolverine rode off at the end of the first movie. In his absence, the needy Rogue was eyeing fellow student Bobby Drake. The two get some quality time together in the sequel — but smooching remains a problem.

Famke Janssen Jean Grey
The hottest medic this side of ”M*A*S*H”’s ”Hot Lips” Houlihan, Grey tends to the X-Men’s wounds. Though she dates Cyclops, she and Wolvie get a little closer this time around. Along the way, Grey’s previously weak telekinetic powers get a huge boost — an ominous development that should seem familiar to comic-book readers.

James Marsden Cyclops
Under the close tutelage of Professor X, he’s the gang’s stone-faced field general. In ”X2,” however, he falls victim to the bad guys early on, which means he’s absent from most of the action. He still finds time to clash with Wolverine, however.

Halle Berry Storm
She can fly; she can whip up cloud cover and lightning; she can hide in the background of an ensemble cast. After doing a heck of a lot of nothing in ”X-Men,” the cast’s second Oscar winner (Paquin won for 1993’s ”The Piano”) gets a little more attention in ”X2.”

Ian McKellen Magneto
He was trapped in a plastic prison as ”X-Men” wound down, but with a story line that has him allying with Xavier’s X-Men, Magneto is destined for a newfound taste of freedom.

Rebecca Romijn-Stamos Mystique
Magneto’s in prison; his henchmen, Toad and Sabretooth, are gone; and Magneto’s supposed to team up with the X-Men. Hmm… Might the shape-shifting Mystique play a role in a prison break? It almost makes us blue with anticipation.

imageCredit = ‘X-Men: Twentieth Century Fox’;

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