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X-Men (Re)United
Bryan Singer, producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter, and the studio were thrilled that all of the principal actors from "X-Men" returned for X2. Hugh Jackman, who rocketed to superstardom after nabbing, at the eleventh hour, the role of Wolverine in "X-Men," continues to make his role a driving force in the X-Men mythology, as the character investigates his mysterious past and dangerous inner conflict. For Jackman, taking on Wolverine was even more fun the second time around.

"Oh, man I had a blast," says the actor. "Wolverine is getting closer and closer to finding out about his past…the clues are starting to come together…more and more information is coming his way. He's having more nightmares and more flashbacks so the mental torment is getting stronger, too. Then, out come the emotions which he tries to repress but he really just gets grumpier and a lot angrier and, well…just beware when that happens.

"By the end of the movie, he's got a pretty darn good idea about what his past is all about. Retribution may very well be in store for those responsible."

Wolverine also finds things heating up with Jean Grey, as the connection they made in the first film is further explored in X2. "They're connected beyond simple attraction," notes Famke Janssen, returning as the beautiful telepath. "Their relationship is beginning to mature beyond the sexual tension hinted at in ‘X-Men.'" At the same time, Jean is having some "issues" with her powers. "Her experiences at Liberty Island in the first film have changed her, and we explore that in X2," Janssen says.

Jean is caught between Wolverine and her longtime fiancé Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, in a love triangle that gains momentum in X2. "The sparks that have been flying for a long time have turned into a fire in this movie," says James Marsden, who again portrays the visor-clad hero. "But whatever's happening between Jean and Wolverine, you get the impression that she and Scott would do anything for one another – that their bond is inseparable."

Indeed, the latest X-Men movie adventure considerably ups the romantic stakes. "X2 definitely is a much more romantic movie than its predecessor," says Bryan Singer. "In ‘X-Men' it was like the characters were exchanging phone numbers; now they're going on dates," he adds, laughing.

Even the blue-skinned metamorph Mystique, again played by Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, shows her seductive side. "She's much more sexual in this film, says Romijn-Stamos. "And she tries to use her ability to transform into others to take care of her sensual needs.

"At the same time, Mystique gets to display a little more humor – and some outrage," adds Romijn-Stamos. "When Mystique is asked why she chooses to keep her freakish look, when she could take the appearance of anyone she wants, she tellingly replies: ‘Because I shouldn't have to.'" In addition, the actress appreciated the advances in makeup effects that cut down her time in the makeup chair from eight hours to a still grueling five, as well as the opportunity to appear more or less as herself – sans blue skin – in one key scene.

Halle Berry's character, Storm, also undergoes some evolutionary changes (and, like Famke Janssen's Jean Grey, a new hairstyle). According to the Oscar®-winning actress, who made time in her X2 shooting schedule to accept the coveted statuette for her work in "Monster's Ball," Storm has more to do in the new film. "

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