Shawn Ashmore: I would play Iceman as a gay character
Shawn Ashmore would love to return to the 'X-Men' franchise as Iceman and would be willing to portray the character as gay now he has come out in the Marvel comic books
Shawn Ashmore would like to bring Iceman back to 'The X-Men' franchise as a gay character.
The 36-year-old actor has played superhero Bobby Drake in four films, with his last outing as the frozen powered character coming in 2014's 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'
In April 2015, in issue 40 of the Marvel comic book 'All-New X-Men' a time-displaced version of a teenage Iceman was revealed to be homosexual by his teammate Jean Grey, who can hear his inner thoughts due to her telepathic abilities.
Ashmore is interested in playing that version of the character because he thinks it would send a positive message to have a gay superhero on the big screen and would fit in with the message of all the 'X-Men' movies is that diversity is a good thing.
He told BANG Showbiz: "I'm always interested in 'The X-Men', it's always been such a huge part of my career and life to be honest.
"What I think is interesting is that the X-Men have always been about diversity, it's the key message of the film. For the 'X-Men' what makes us different is what makes us great, so if Iceman or Bobby came out in a film I think it would stay very much on point and on message about what the films are about. We did establish him as having a love interest with Rogue and with Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat) so it would have to be handled well to have that shift in his sexuality work for viewers. I think it could be really interesting.
"There haven't been any discussions about me making another one but the series seems to be doing well and it seems to be very vital so it is a possibility. I would love to play the character again."
Ashmore started playing Iceman when he was just 19 and he insists the 20th Century Fox franchise helped him grow up as a person and improved him as an actor.
He added: "I've grown-up playing this character and what's great about the series is that traditionally every four or five years we've made a movie so it's been nice to have some distance from the character and go away and grow and mature as a person."
'X-Men' director-and-producer Bryan Singer recently admitted he took on the franchise because as a gay man he could identify with the mutant characters feelings of isolation.
He said: "I took it on because I saw the thematics of it were interesting to me. I saw Xavier and Magneto as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X characters. I'm gay or bisexual, whatever, so that probably factored into it a bit because mutancy is discovered at that age in puberty when you're different from your whole neighbourhood and your family and you feel very isolated. So that probably factored into my decision to do it to some degree at least."
The next movie in the series, 'X-Men: Apocalypse', comes out in May and sees Jennifer Lawrence return as Mystique, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, James McAvoy as Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Magneto.