James Marsden (Associated Press photo)
James Marsden, best known for his roles in the “X Men” franchise as well as “27 Dresses,” “Superman Returns” and “Enchanted,” says growing up in northwest Oklahoma City allowed him to nurture his creative side and develop a successful acting career.
“There’s like a creek down by my mother’s house and a little play area, and I just lived down there,” Marsden told my fine colleague George Lang during a one-on-one interview at Los Angeles’ Four Seasons Hotel.
“That’s a necessary thing for kids to have that. To me, it felt like Mark Twain — I was in that world. It allowed me to dream.”
Marsden, 36, said his mother encouraged him to get into acting at Putnam City North High School, where he laid the groundwork for his successful acting career.
One of the keys to his success: “I always tried to choose the roles that weren’t necessarily easy, that were challenges.”
“But when I realized that it was a formula that was working, then I became conscious and aware of it — that sort of diversity was attractive to me and became an essential element in all of my decision-making,” Marsden told George.
“So it is now. I did ‘Death at a Funeral’ right after I did ‘The Box,’ with Richard Kelly, which are complete polar opposites, very different films. And I’m cautious to make sure that it never comes off as an arrogant ego thing, to just prove to everyone that ‘I can do everything.’ But I really think that’s where my strengths lie, changing it up and doing different things. It’s like, I feel like I don’t excel at one thing, but I’m good at a lot of things.”
His latest movie is the comedy “Death at a Funeral,” in which he plays Oscar, the nervous fiance that Zoe Saldana’s Elaine brings to her uncle’s funeral. In short order, he accidentally ingests a hallucinogen and scene-stealing madness ensues.
“It almost felt like an acting exercise: How crazy can you go being completely sober?”
Click here to read the rest of George’s great feature, which includes information about Marsden’s next project.