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Playing Mystique in an X-Men movie stinks. Not the ass-kicking part. That’s amazing and fun (I’d imagine). I mean the extensive prep work that goes into appearing on screen as a character who is blue from head-to-toe. Jennifer Lawrence returns to play Mystique in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past after playing the lethal shape-changer in X-Men: First Class. Her cute nickname for the character – and the grueling make-up process – is "Mystink."
This, according to Yahoo Movies, who caught up with X-Men writer and co-producer Simon Kinberg and spoke with him about Lawrence’s lengthy makeup prep for the movies. The good news, according to Kinberg, is that the X-Men team was able to greatly reduce the amount of time needed to turn Jennifer Lawrence into Mystique this time around. "We got Jen's makeup [application] down from I think seven or eight hours on X-Men: First Class to about three or four on this film, which is pretty awful but at least it's not torture."
The site suggests that reductions in the amount of overall prep time could go a long way toward convincing Lawrence to reprise the role of Mystique in a spinoff movie, as has been rumored. You might recall that back in 2013, the Oscar-winning actress told E! that the X-Men producers were working on using a body suit more often than body makeup… primarily because the makeup used caused Jennifer Lawrence to break out in skin rash. And it’s really hard to fight off Professor Xavier and his gifted students when you are dealing with itches and puss.
Kinberg doesn’t deny that simplifying the makeup process for Mystique might help get Jennifer Lawrence back in the role for a standalone movie. But he’d prefer to focus entirely on the dramatic reasons for bringing the unique antagonist back into the fold for a story. He says:
There are so many different ways you could go with the character and a lot of story to tell. Part of the challenge of these movies we're talking about is to give everybody enough drama to play, so the notion of Jen being the lead in her own movie is interesting."
Fans will be able to see Mystique in action in X-Men: Days of Future Past beginning on May 23. For the life of me, I can’t find footage of Jennifer Lawrence getting into character (is this not a behind-the-scenes reel on a DVD somewhere?), but I was able to dig up original Mystique, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, slipping into the signature blue skin. Travel way back in the X-Men time machine for this fun making-of feature.