‘X-Men: First Class’ brings together the epic scale and action of a summer blockbuster with a character-driven story that unveils the beginning of the X-Men saga. As the first class discovers, harnesses, and comes to terms with their formidable powers, alliances are formed that will shape the eternal war between the heroes and villains of the X-Men universe.  Like all great X-Men stories, ’X-Men: First Class’ takes on ambitious themes and issues while offering a rich and personal look at an unusual superhero team. Check out what Nicholas Hoult (Hank McCoy/Beast) and Zoe Kravitz (Angel Salvadore/Angel) had to say about the film below. ‘X-Men: First Class’ is in cinemas now.

How would you describe your character?

Nicholas Hoult: I play Hank McCoy, also known as Beast. For part of the movie he’s a young, geeky scientist who’s very clever and inventive. But also he’s quite nervous and not the best at communicating with other people. He’s very embarrassed with his ape-like feet, which he hides. Also, like with all the mutants in the X-Men stories, there’s that thing about feeling alone and feeling like a freak I suppose, feeling like he doesn’t fit in to society and that no one understands him, he’s also got that. Then when he forms with the other X-Men: First Class he finds other people like him, who understand him.

The films basically the young relationship between Magneto and Charles Xavier. It’s their relationship and before they had their separate views on what mutants should be and how they should fit into the world and society. It also revolves around Sebastian Shaw and his band of evil mutants. He wants to eradicate human kind basically, he believes they are sub-class so he wants to create an atomic war to remove humans from the face of he earth. Then the newly formed X-Men are there to try and prevent that from happening.

What was it like on set and working with Matthew Vaughn?

Zoe Kravitz: I’d seen Layer Cake, I’d seen Kick Ass and I knew his involvement with Lock Stock and Snatch, I thought it was really cool that they chose such an edgy director for this big blockbuster film. He’s definitely one of the reasons I signed on. He makes it so much more that just an action movie, he’s a REALLY talented filmaker, and he loves film and cinema, he has a huge respect for it. He made this a proper film instead of things just exploding.

I had a fantastic time, the cast is incredible, there’s not one person who I didn’t adore. There was a really light energy on set. It’s funny because we’d be just hanging out, just be eating lunch, goofing around then suddenly we’re on this crazy set with all these special effects, you’d just be like “oh wow, this is crazy.”(Laughs) It was nuts, real cool though, that vibe on set made it feel comfortable.

Charles Xavier is a real mentor to your character in the film.

Nicholas Hoult: As Charles says in the film he has to release the beast within. There’s that thing where he has been trying to suppress it and not own up to it, there’s that thing where if you don’t approach something head on and confront it, it’s not real almost. Charles, like with most of the young characters in the film, he makes them confront what they’re most afraid of and their mutant powers, he teaches them to control them and use them for good.

There’s a lot of emotionally complex issues in the film with the mutants coming to terms with their powers.

Nicholas Hoult: Yeah, it’s that thing where everyone, especially as a teenager or a kid, probably the scariest feeling in life is to feel alone. For all these guys that’s what being a mutant is like, it’s this dark secret that is stopping you from having the life you wish and it makes you feel very isolated. That’s what it’s for Hank.

Zoe Kravitz: Anyone that feels different, anyone who’s ever felt like an outcast, it’s the same thing. Finding people who feel the same way as you, it’s the same thing as any human reading a fantastic book, or finding a good song, or a movie that touches them, feeling compassion and feeling like you’re not the only one. For me that’s what we live for, what we’re looking for. I feel like the basis for any story is finding each other, finding someone to relate to.