Hollywood’s Latest Ice Queen

Imperious.  Beautiful.  Enormously powerful.  And cold-hearted.  Emma Frost, aka The Hellfire Club's White Queen, has been one of the X-Men's most enduring characters since her introduction in 1980.  In that time, the all-powerful telepath, who also possesses the ability to turn her skin into rock-hard diamonds, has veered from villainess to ambivalent heroine – but in X-Men: First Class, she's avowedly on the dark side, sitting at the right hand of Sebastian Shaw.


And when it came to finding someone who could bring the multi-layered Frost to life, Matthew Vaughn needed someone who could capture her poise, her inner steel, her beauty and who would be able to pull off the amazing costumes that have become Frost's trademark.  There was really only one choice: January Jones.  The thirty-three-year-old actress, from South Dakota, has been blazing a trail as Betty, the downtrodden former wife of Jon Hamm's Don Draper on the hit TV show, Mad Men, for the last few years, but with X-Men: First Class, she took her first steps into a world where the men – and women – are truly mad.  With the film coming out on Blu-ray this month, we spoke to her about Frost's costumes, her relationship with Shaw and swapping the xixties for... the sixties.



STUDIO: This was quite a last-minute thing for you, wasn't it?

January Jones: I had auditioned for both Emma Frost and Moira in LA.  There was a month or two of shooting left on Mad Men and the movie wasn't supposed to start while we were still shooting Mad Men.  My impression was it wasn't going to work out, schedule-wise but then it got pushed so I was happily able to do it.  The day after I wrapped Mad Men, I flew to London.  There was no break.  I went from being a sixties housewife to a mutant!


STUDIO: Also in the sixties...

JJ: I only do projects that take place in the sixties and that have Men in the title.  It's working for me! (laughs) It's been really cool to go from something that's very wordy and emotionally taxing to something where there's a lot of action sequences and I get to wear crazy outfits and fight and be telepathic. It's been a really lovely change of pace.


STUDIO: And you also got to turn into diamond...

JJ: John Dykstra [VFX supervisor] and Matthew showed me beforehand some of the stuff which would happen when she does turn into diamonds, and it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen.  I'd never seen anything like that.


STUDIO: So you auditioned for Moira and Emma.  Who were you hoping for?

JJ: The mutant!  Of course!  They're both really cool roles, but very different.  For me, I've never done anything like this before.  And to be a bad guy on top of everything, it's been really fun.



Read the rest of STUDIO's exclusive interview with January Jones, star of X-Men: First Class, in our October 2011 issue. Out now!

"I went from being a sixties housewife to a mutant!"
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