Ben Singer so impressed with Ben Hardy on X-Men: Apocalypse

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 13 May 2016
Ben Hardy

Ben Hardy

Brian Singer has admitted he was astonished by former 'EastEnders' actor Ben Hardy's performance on the set of 'X-Men: Apocalypse' and in one scene where he got his mutant powers he "grossed out" the crew and cast

Ben Hardy "grossed out" the crew and his co-stars with his performance as Archangel in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'.

Bryan Singer has praised the 25-year-old heartthrob - who found fame on British soap 'EastEnders' as Peter Beale - for giving such an impressive delivery as his character transformed into the winged mutant without any props because all the effects were added afterwards with CGI.

Recalling the scene in which Hardy pretended to writhe on the floor in pain as his imaginary wings tore through his back, director Singer said: "Ben Hardy made it come alive. His performance imagining that that was happening to him - on the floor he gave absolutely a full commitment and if you were to watch it without the visual effects, just sound, you feel the pain and the agony he's going through. I was so impressed. He understood what was happening to him and in the scene, as an actor - he's a very fine actor - you can feel it in the rough cut with no wings. And then you put the wings on (in CGI) and ahh, my boss got grossed out by it!"

The 50-year-old filmmaker took inspiration for the scene from John Landis' 1981 cult horror classic 'An American Werewolf in London', in which the character David Kessler transforms into a lycanthrope monster.

Singer told website HeyUGuys: "The Archangel transformation was very much inspired by 'American Werewolf in London'. I wanted to do my version of that, this very painful, organic, eruption of change with Archangel's body, and that is always the reference that I used, with what John Landis did with that film, was so masterful, so provocative, and he did it to a really cool song, so thankfully, we were blessed to use the song, 'The Four Horsemen' to punctuate that transformation."

'X-Men: Apocalypse' features a cameo from Hugh Jackman as Weapon X - also known as Wolverine - and introduces a very different and more dangerous version of the character, which will be expanded upon in the 2017 standalone film 'Wolverine 3'.

Brian said: "What is really nice about his cameo is that he's the Wolverine that you've never seen before. He's truly Weapon X. Not just the guy, but the weapon. We had a little issue with some of the... (fighting) but it's OK, you can take the kids."

X-Men: Apocalypse

  • 3 stars
  • 2016
  • US
  • 2h 24min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Bryan Singer
  • Written by: Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, Simon Kinberg, Bryan Singer
  • UK release: 19 May 2016

Waking from a ten-year slumber, Apocalypse (Isaac) enlists Erik/Magneto (Fassbender) in his evil plans. Plenty of superficial excitement but a distinct lack of narrative ambition; with an extraordinary ensemble wasted in a franchise that's run dry of ideas.

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