Ben Hardy first appeared on UK screens playing Peter Beale in the popular TV soap, ‘Eastenders’. Like many before him, there was always a chance that Ben would fall into the “soap trap”, becoming the face of his onscreen character and settling into a lifetime stint that’d find him rarely taking on other roles due to a rigorous filming schedule.
For Ben, this was not the dream. With his eyes set on the big screen he took off to the states and landed the role of Archangel in the upcoming X-men Apocalypse movie. As part of our FAULT #23 X-Men Special, we caught up with Ben for this exclusive photo-shoot and interview.
Leaving a solid role in the UK and heading off for the states must have been daunting. Did you have a job lined up before you left?
No, I just left really. It’s one of those things you’ve got to just get out there to do otherwise I might find myself waking up in 10 years wondering what could have been.
Angel is quite a different role to the one you played on Eastenders. Did you know much beforehand?
Ha yes, the characters are a little different. I’d seen all the x-men films and watched the cartoon growing up but I hadn’t read many comics. I have done since getting the role and learnt a lot.
Angel has appeared in the X-men films before played by Ben Foster, were you able to draw much from his character to play his younger self?
As the timeline has completely warped and while I did watch X-Men: The Last Stand, I went into playing Angel as a brand new character altogether. I’m drawing on Angel’s character as dictated by the script and my own interpretation of him without worrying too much on past appearances.
Is the transformation from Angel to Archangel true to the comics?
I can’t say! But I will say that it’s a really awesome transformation scene.
How did you adapt to all the special effects used in the movie?
It was pretty weird. I’m like, ‘OH GREAT! I get to see the X-Mansion’ and I get in there and it’s one platform and green screen [laughs]. My wings are always CGI so I’m on set flapping my arms about a lot.
Moving forward, will you and the younger cast members be taking over the mantle of the X-Men?
As far as I know, the original X-Men actors will remain in the franchise. But I think there is a great young cast in Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Alex Shipp and Lana Condor, who have so much talent to bring to X-Men in the future.
There are a lot of British people in the movie! Did you all gel well on set?
Definitely! And of course the British connection helped with the banter, we could always just say, ‘well, how about that Tesco amirite!’ as a counter haha.
What is your FAULT?
There’s plenty! I’m a massive binge-eater. I’m either training hard and eating super healthily or I’m the opposite. There’s no in-between!