VERSATILE PLAYER. James Marsden is one of Hollywood’s hottest leading men at the moment, appearing in a wide range of TV and film projects at any given time. He talked to DA MAN about straddling the line between drama and comedy, his competitive nature, and the difficulties of acting with tennis balls
James Marsden has been climbing the Hollywood ladder for quite some time. He first entered the public consciousness with his role as the superheroic mutant Cyclops in the X-Men series, and followed that up with leading roles in a number of extremely diverse projects, from kid-friendly flicks like Enchanted and Hop to serious and disturbing adult dramas like The Box and last year’s Straw Dogs. At the moment he can be seen in Asia on the FX network sitcom 30 Rock, where he stars opposite Tina Fey as her character’s charming but directionless boyfriend, Criss. And later this summer you’ll be able to see him on the big screen once again in the films Bachelorette and Robot and Frank.
DA MAN: On 30 Rock, your character Criss is sort of a loveable free spirit. You’ve played similarly kooky characters in the past, such as your memorable guest spot as princess castle squatter Barry in Modern Family. Would you say those sorts of character are closer to your actual personality than say, intense, straightlaced fellows like David Sumner [from Straw Dogs] or Scott Summers [from X-Men]?
James Marsden: Yeah, I’m not sure what that says about me but I definitely am drawn to characters that have a specific comedic “hook”. The more I step outside myself the easier it is and the more fun I have playing with a personality that might be quite contrasting to my own. Also, comedically, I like the characters that are just a bit off upstairs but are the most sincere.