Last month I got the chance to speak briefly with Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee who plays Nightcrawler in the X-Men franchise. He will be reprising his role for Dark Phoenix, which premieres globally on June 7.
Check it out below!
Bea: Hi Kodi, thank you so much for talking to us. I’m actually a huge Nightcrawler fan, so I’m really excited to talk to you. Did you know anything about Kurt before auditioning or was that something that you researched for the movie?
Kodi: I’d just like to be straight up and honest. I mean, being a fan of X-Men I actually didn’t know Nightcrawler really existed. I saw him a lot, but I didn’t know the name that applied to him and all of that stuff. But I am one that, whenever I’m assigned to a character -you know, comic book or not- I completely immerse myself in all that there is to know of it. And if there’s nothing there, I create the immense world that I can jump in and out of, you know, the psyche of that character. But this was really cool because there was already a whole world. Yeah, so I just got support from all that, and to tell the truth, I had a lot of the hard work done for me. I just had to put it together and choose which way I wanted to implement for the portrayal. But yeah, I became a huge fan of him after learning so much about him, and ultimately just a huge fan of X-Men overall.
Bea: Speaking of that, who would you say is like the least like their X-Men character? Out of everyone?
Bea: Is there someone who’s kind of like their character then? Who is the most similar?
Kodi: I feel like we all obviously have things that we can relate to in our character. (Laughs). When you see the action and what they’re doing in between “Action!” and ”Cut!” but and then they say, “Cut it out,” in-between, it’s freaking hilarious because they’re actually so diverse. It’s so funny.
Bea: I bet! So, this is just a hypothetical question, but who would you want Nightcrawler to team up with? It can be anyone, it doesn’t have to be just from the X-Men universe.
Kodi: For some reason I wanted him- because I’ve seen pictures of it in certain comic books- to team up with Deadpool. Because they’re both in some way the comedic relief of movies. Yeah. That would be really interesting, the kind of vulnerable Nightcrawler with the ridiculous Deadpool. That would be pretty funny.
Bea: Yeah. Another quick question. I know there is a CBS All Access series, Interrogation, you’re starring in. How is doing television different from doing, you know, a huge franchise like the X-Men movies?
Kodi: To tell you the truth, I’ve never experienced like television-television. Because it’s kind of a mini-series and the way that it is, is that it will all be extremely familiar to me. It’ll be the same process as the movie, though in that fashion I won’t be experiencing something so new, but definitely for the material of what I’m doing. I mean the subject we are dealing with is actually a true crime that happened in the 80’s in Fernando Valley. It’s an extremely brutal murder. So yeah, there was definitely some different sensations going through me, especially when I was watching this documentary on the murder itself and realizing I was playing a real character out there. It was pretty damn scary. But yeah, it’s very informative. It’s a very unique thing with the way they’re releasing it. They’re just going to release all the episodes and you get to pick and choose which interrogations you would like to watch first and you cultivate your own judgement of who’s guilty and who’s not.
Bea: Oh really? Yeah. That sounds really cool. So moving on, what has been one of your weirdest fan interactions throughout this whole experience?
Kodi: I don’t really have a lot of fans coming out to me in the streets and stuff like that. But it’s cool because a lot of the characters that are played in the past have blown up in a franchise manner and like a lot of makeup. So yeah, I stay pretty secretive. But the weirdest thing is just when it’s been like- I go to Montreal. I went there like three years ago when I joined X-Men, and you’ll go there like another few years later and they’ll be the same group of fans waiting outside the hotel.
Bea: So after Dark Phoenix would you be interested in reprising your role as Nightcrawler? Or would you want to branch out do something different?
Kodi: Oh God, I have been so passionate that I need to reprise [the role]. I really want to reprise it, but I’m just kind of assuming -and I don’t want to manifest this by assuming- I don’t know about myself. But I don’t know, I don’t feel like they are necessarily going to want to continue with the momentum that we have right now. But we shall see! I have faith in whatever plays out.
Bea: I understand. Now, could you give me just a quick recap of your experience putting all that makeup on? How long does that take you?
Kodi: Originally, the makeup test took four hours.
Bea: Oh, wow!
Kodi: Yeah. That decreased like, hourly as we got better at it. Now it’s an hour and a half. So it’s actually quite bearable but it’s just more like when it’s freezing cold in the morning and I’m so freaking tired to have the blue paint sprayed on your face. It can be very uncomfortable.
Bea: It’s a spray?
Kodi: Yes, to get the transfers – which are the scars on my skin – there is a glue that is sprayed on my face. And then for the rest of the hour they’re just kind of shading with all the blue paint and things like that. You need to be in a meditative kind of state for it, and be able to bear that. That kind of treatment. But it’s worth it.
Bea: We have to wrap it up, so thank you so much for your time Kodi and talking to us at Nerdy PoC!
Kodi: Thank you, I appreciate it!