After 17 years of playing Charles Xavier, Sir Patrick Stewart has decided to call time on his tenure as the iconic X-Men leader.
The 76-year-old actor says his performance as an aged Professor X in ‘Logan’ will be his last outing in 20th Century Fox’s popular superhero franchise, calling it “the most perfect way to say au revoir” to the character.
Hugh Jackman has long stated that ‘Logan’ would be his final film playing Wolverine, but Stewart admits he only decided it would be his last outing after seeing the film play at the Berlin Film Festival.
“I worked for the first two months of filming [on ‘Logan’] because I had another project,” Stewart tells Yahoo Movies in our interview above.
“[My last scene] happened at half past one in the morning on a bug-filled horrible, hot night in beautiful Louisiana, and that was it. I honestly thought no more of it than that i’d just wrapped a movie.”
“But a few nights ago seeing the movie in Berlin with an audience, only for the second time, I realised that what had happened in this movie was that for me also, it was the most perfect way to say ‘au revoir’ to the X-Men franchise. I cannot think of anything else coming in my direction that might include Charles Xavier that could be anything better than this movie.”
Patrick Stewart first played Charles Xavier in Bryan Singer’s hugely successful ‘X-Men’ in 2000. He’s since played the part on screen seven times, including ‘Logan’, where he’s an aged but still hugely powerful nonagenarian mutant who – with Hugh Jackman’s clawed hero – comes to the aid of Laura, a mysterious young mutant who appears to have powers like Wolverine.
Laura, played by newcomer Dafne Keen, is a young Mexican on the run from the Reavers led by Boyd Holbrook’s Donald Pierce. Charles, Logan, and Laura make a mad cross-country dash for the Canadian border to get her to safety, and Stewart admits the film’s themes couldn’t be more timely, despite not planning it like that.
“[The director] James Mangold, the writers, and the studio had no idea that we would be living in the world that we happen to be in now when this movie was created,” says Stewart.
“But the central objective of the principal characters, at least the good guys, is to make it to a border and to get across it into safety. And we are in a world where there are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people who are trying to do exactly that. All they want to do is make them and their families, and their children, safe.
“You will draw your own conclusions from what that parallel means between this movie and the real world. The world has always been dangerous in many respects, but given who is in the White House presently, it is very much more dangerous.”
‘Logan’ hits cinemas on Wednesday, 1 March. Watch a trailer below.