FOLLOWING THE DAYS OF FUTURE PAST WITH SHAWN ASHMORE
You may have seen this charismatic actor in such films as the X-Men trilogies, The Ruins and Breaking The Girl. Richmond, British Columbia native Shawn Ashmore spent the majority of his youth on camera. With a strong head on his shoulders – thanks in part to his upbringing, his instilled work ethic and his relationship with his twin brother, Aaron – you can guarantee that he is focused and driven to become the best version of himself. Bello Mag sat down with the 34-year-old actor to discuss his upcoming blockbuster film, chasing serial killers and married life.
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST is coming out this summer. What can we expect from the latest installment in the X-MEN franchise?
It’s going to be a huge film just in scope, scale, performance and story. DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, the storyline, is based on an established X-Men storyline, and part of the film takes place in the not-too-distant future in sort of a dystopian atmosphere where mutants have been hunted down and almost killed to extinction. Casts from the trilogies and from the X-Men: First Class are worked into the movie, so there’s a future and a past element to the movie. It’s going to be amazing, especially for fans to see a young and old version of Professor Xavier and Magneto and other characters interacting with each other in the same film. I think it’s pretty exciting and well done on the writer and Bryan Singer’s part.
Was it kind of trippy seeing an action figure modeled after you?
Oh yeah, it was weird! I did a TV show when I was kid called Animorphs, and that was the first time I had an action figure modeled after me, so I actually have two action figures. Also, after X-Men 3, I did the voice for the video game and the likeness, of course, was beyond bizarre. I think I have one of each somewhere tucked away in a closet that I’ll keep for my grandkids.
THE FOLLOWING is in its second season; season one was quite the thrill ride. What can we expect from your character Agent Mike Weston?
We pick up this season about a year later after the events of the cult and Joe Carroll. Mike is worn down and is in a dark place. He’s been basically suspended and under review at the FBI because he and Ryan [Hardy], played by Kevin Bacon, kidnapped, tortured and killed a follower of the cult. Even though he was a bad guy, it’s still a no-no when you’re working with the FBI. He’s being brought back into the fold because of an event that happens in New York City that triggers the FBI to suspect that maybe some of the followers that didn’t get captured last year are back at it again. I’ve seen the first episode and I think it’s as good, if not better, than the stuff we were doing last season, so I’m really excited for our fans to check it out.
You have a twin brother, Aaron. Was there any sibling rivalry or has been always a love fest between you two?
Growing up there was obviously a certain amount of sibling rivalry and with being a twin, you’re compared on every level on what you look like and how you are achieving in life. People put these crazy expectations and comparison on you because you look the same, and it was kind of amplified with being a twin. Then, of course, we both decided to become actors, and then you’re competing on another level. Ultimately, we’ve both been able to have our own careers and success in our own ways in our pursuit of being actors. At the end of the day, it’s nice to have such an amazing support system.
In your downtime away from your hectic busy schedule of shooting and making movies, what are some hobbies or things that define who Shawn Ashmore really is?
I spend a lot of time listening to music. I like putting on an album and…saying “meditating” is overstating it, but it is that sort of thing. I love to snowboard and that’s a great escape for me. When I’m not working, I’m with my wife and two dogs.
Tell us about your wife, Dana. How did you guys meet?
She’s in the business as well, on the production side, and we met filming a movie together. It was one of those right time and right place [things] and she just so happened to be the right person. We got married at this little gem in Los Angeles called the SmogShoppe, and the location itself is in a strange area. My family came into town and were like, “Wait a minute, this is where you’re getting married?” Once you walk in the doors, it’s like a little oasis. It’s an amazing venue.
What are some of the things you’ve done in the past that have molded and shaped you into the individual that you are today?
Traveling was a big part of my growing up, and a big influence on my life. It has taught me how to appreciate what I have and to experience how other cultures live. I also think that since I’ve been working as a kid, a lot of the lessons I learned, I learned in my work. I’ve gotten to play roles that have changed my life, especially playing one of my childhood Canadian heroes, Terry Fox, in a movie. Just being able to do that research and experience that journey was kind of an incredible thing.
Not only are we an entertainment magazine, but we place a great deal of emphasis on style as well. So tell me, what in your wardrobe do you wear that you feel the most comfortable in?
The things I love style-wise are shoes. I could care less about what I’m wearing. I could go out and need a new shirt or a new jacket and I always end up looking at boots and buying shoes, even if I don’t need them. I have a pair of John Varvatos Converse that I love to wear around. They’re just comfortable and easy.
What can we expect from you as far as future goals and projects for 2014?
2014 is basically The Following and X-Men: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, so there’s not much time for anything else. I am starting to look at projects and look at films, so I am in the midst of trying to find that next role. I would like to focus on a small, independent film. I’m always looking for something different that I can really sink my teeth into, so we shall see.
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