Rebecca Romijn as Mystique in X-Men

Before being blue in a Marvel film was normalized by Guardians of the Galaxy’s Yondu and Nebula, Rebecca Romijn stepped in to play Mystique, one of the most intricate characters in the X-Men films. Since the actress passed the title to Jennifer Lawrence, the Hunger Games star shared her distaste in the makeup process, but apparently the OG actress has nothing but love for the long get-ready process.

Rebecca Romijn recently reflected on her role as Mystique following the movie’s recent 20-year anniversary. The Star Trek: Strange New Worlds actress spoke about what it was like to turn into a mutant when Looper asked her the most memorable aspect of the X-Men role:

I guess it was the makeup application. It was no joke! My call time was at midnight to be ready at 9AM. It was a nine-hour makeup process. We did, over the course of three movies, manage to get it down to seven hours, but that was still ... It was a big deal. And I realized pretty early on that was the job. I was getting paid to be a part of that makeup application. The acting was free. The job was getting all that makeup put on!

It’s true. In the early X-Men movies, the allure of Mystique was how exotic she looked in her mutant form. An important element of her character was how proud she was to be blue despite her ability to shape-shift and blend in whenever she wished. With that in mind, spending an entire work day being turned into the comic book character was the most important part to the role. Rebecca Romijn continued:

Also, it was the most beautiful costume I've ever seen in my life. Every single time they finished, and I would look in the mirror, I would just look at it like it was a masterpiece. And I treasure it now, because hindsight is 20/20, and I don't remember how painful it was, but I really appreciate everything that came from that, really. I'm glad that I did it exactly how I did it. It was worth it. It was worth every single second of all that, of all those 11:30 wake-up calls to go to the set. I would try and go to bed at 7:30 or 8AM and just lay there, and then I would have to get up at 11:30PM and go to work, and work for 24 hours straight.

It definitely sounds like Rebecca Romijn had an insane work schedule as Mystique. She spent her nights getting ready and days on set for the X-Men trilogy, but what’s amazing is how much love she has for the time as the character looking back. She was truly part of an iconic moment in Marvel history with Raven, and she’d even go back and do it again if she could. As she said:

Sure. Well, with the makeup, yes. I wouldn't do it without the makeup, because I feel like that's a really big part of the transformation of the character, is going through that makeup process. There is nothing that turns you into a colder, harder bitch than going through that makeup process. I really feel like it's a really key part of the character. Going through that process is like, ‘Okay, I'm angry. I'm super angry now.’

As it turns out, the secret to Mystique is the makeup. If you were sleep deprived and had spent hours being turned blue and scaly, you might be able to pull off Raven’s energy too. On the other hand, Jennifer Lawrence played Mystique for four films, and in a larger role for First Class, Days of Future Past, Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix, and she admitted that it wasn’t the best of times. She said she didn’t care for the “fumes and toxins” (understandable) or the long strenuous process in a makeup chair.

For the last X-Men movie, Dark Phoenix, Jennifer Lawrence didn’t commit to the full makeup process of Mystique, and her character’s image declined in quality as Mystique died in the movie too. Disney’s Marvel universe is set to feature mutants in a coming movie. Check out the upcoming MCU lineup here on CinemaBlend.

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