Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

X Woman: X2's Mystique, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Talks about Living in a 1920s Brothel, Giving That Famous "Lesbian Homework" Quote, and Getting Blue with Alan Cumming. (Film)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

X Woman: X2's Mystique, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Talks about Living in a 1920s Brothel, Giving That Famous "Lesbian Homework" Quote, and Getting Blue with Alan Cumming. (Film)

Article excerpt

When X2--the sequel to the blockbuster hit X-Men--launches in May, queer fans will be among the first in line. The mid '70s relaunch of Marvel's X-Men has spoken more directly to gay and lesbian readers than perhaps any other mainstream comic. Queer youths identified with a universe where mutant teens with special powers were treated as outcasts. Story lines even included teens "coming out" to their parents as mutants--a detail that figures in X2, directed by Bryan Singer, edited and scored by out talent John Ottman, and starring such gay and gay-friendly stars as Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Alan Cumming.

According to novelist and comics expert Andy Mangels, X-Men also hit young gays and lesbians at a sexual level: "Chris Claremont, who wrote it for a long time, favored really strong, butch, neodominatrix women. And the male characters were often in hunky stages of undress--drown very erotically most of the time."

Also very erotic is the all-blue shape-shifter Mystique, played in both X films by former model Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, who is clearly blessed with the audacity to match her preternaturally gorgeous looks. As the lead in Brian De Palma's 2002 thriller Femme Fatale, she unforgettably seduced another woman in order to swipe the jewels adorning the woman's near-naked body. Queried about Femme's gay overtones by Elle magazine, she delighted gay readers by saying, "In my early 20s I wondered if I was interested in women, and so I kind of, well ... did my homework." Is it any wonder we sat her down for a pop quiz?

If you see Mystique in the comic book, she's clothed like the other people. She's got her comic book superhero vinyl outfit on. But for the movie they say, "We think clothes are sort of outdated. We're just going to body-paint you."

I have to agree with the producers of the movie or whoever it was that decided Mystique shouldn't wear clothes. Clothes would get in the way if you're trying to morph. If your body cells can morph, how does the fabric of the garment morph?

You'd have to rip the clothes off every five seconds.

Yes, which could be sexy. Sort of an Incredible Hulk moment.

I interviewed your husband [John Stamos], and he mentioned you guys were moving into a brothel.

[Laughs] We bought this house that was a brothel in the '20s. It's this dilapidated log cabin on a ranch. It looks like the set of an old western. The basement was a whole series of little bedrooms with attached bathrooms. It's been referred to as the Sex Farm by our friends.

X-Men has always been significant for gay and lesbian readers for the obvious reason--

[Interrupting] The underlying theme of anyone who was ever ostracized.

Yes. Or someone who was shunned because they are special and more talented than other people.

Right! Jealousy is what it comes down to. First of all, I love Mystique. It's so great to play this supersexy supervillain. She's angry, and she's part of the brotherhood of evil, so she's fighting for the evil reasons. But it totally makes sense to me why she's so angry. I only had one line of dialogue in the first movie [laughs]. But it was a really important piece of information. It was, "People like you made me afraid to go to school as a child."

After you did Femme Fatale, your gay and lesbian fan base went up about, I don't know, 10,000%.

Great! [Laughs] Excellent. …

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