Last weekend, Jean Grey actress Famke Janssen of the X-Men film series took to the Denver Comic Con stage and shared her thoughts on playing the famed Omega-level mutant and reprising the role:
“Jean Grey is part of me, and I would definitely come back to play her whenever they ask me.”
Janssen first appeared as Dr. Jean Grey in the original #XMen film in 2000, and continued in the starring role through the trilogy's third chapter, X-Men: The Last Stand.
“That was so amazing. I never knew –– I don’t think any of us had any understanding of how popular our first movie was going to be and that it was going live on for 15 plus years. And then I certainly didn’t realize –– I mean I knew Jean Grey could turn into Dark Phoenix, obviously, and that Phoenix rises from the ashes, but the fact that as Jean Grey or the Phoenix they’ve killed me, I’ve come back, I’m like a cockroach. They can’t get rid of me.”
She isn't kidding about Jean's resilience. After her death in The Last Stand, the character appeared in The Wolverine and made a cameo in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Since then, Janssen has continued to enjoy a thriving, non-mutant career, starring in Nexflix's Hemlock Grove and appearing in a reoccurring role on ABC's How To Get Away With Murder.
While she gracefully passed on the Phoenix baton to Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner for 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse, the transition brought up Janssen's desire to return to the role along with her concerns about sexism in the X-Men films:
“I’m actually really excited about [watching her as a young Jean Grey]. And its not the first time obviously that it’s happened. In the 'X-Men' series, they’ve been doing this for years. Although women, it’s interesting because they’re replaced, and the older versions — or more mature, whatever the politically correct version of that is — are never to be seen again. Whereas the men are allowed to be both ages. Sexism. I think that I should be back along with my younger version and the way that we’ve seen it with Magneto and Professor X.”
Fans would surly love to see the two versions of Jean sharing the screen –– and anything can happen in the X-Men film universe –– but, it appears Jean's original iteration will not be rising again:
“It’s the gift that keeps on –– kept on giving. I think we’re done, but it was really great while it lasted and it lasted for a long time. It’s been nothing but a pleasure working not just as Jean Grey, which was such an honor because comics were so fantastic already, but then the entire cast who I got to play with, all my fellow actors, thespians who are so talented. It was just a wonderful experience. I’m very grateful. Jean Grey is a part of me. I would definitely come back to play her whenever they ask me.”
Though it may be the end of the road for Janssen in the X-Men franchise, we have not see the last of Jean. Turner will return in the role for X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which will be released in November 2018.
Which actress do you most like in the role of Jean Grey? Share your thoughts in the comments below.