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Image copyright: see contents page of each issue. All other material © Visual Imagination 1998 - 2005
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Feature: Fantastic Four

Four superheroes

Why have just one Superhero in town, when you can have four? We report from the set of the new film adaptation of one of Marvel’s best-loved comic series – meet The Fantastic Four!

In between a half-built mansion set and a now-defunct villain’s lair, the cast of Fantastic Four met the press to discuss the work in progress. It was their day off, and some of the actors could have used a break. Michael Chiklis, who plays Ben Grimm (aka The Thing), spent the previous day stomping around a re creation of the Brooklyn Bridge on the Vancouver soundstage.

“This goes under the, ‘You know you’re in huge movie when…’ category,” Chiklis said. “[There is] a 75-yard section of the Brooklyn Bridge having been re created with a half a mile track in a circle so that the traffic could flow through it, surrounded by three storeys of blue screen. You walk on the set that day and you go, ‘Wow. Hey mom? Mom, you gotta see this.’”

Every day Chiklis spends as The Thing requires three hours of make-up and costume, in addition to your average 12-hour working day. “I’m doing whatever I can do to relax and sort of let it happen. There’s a sort of surrender that you have to give up, because if you’re trying to control the situation, you really can’t. Initially, it was kind of frightening for me. I knew it would be a physical challenge. I did not know that it would be a psychological challenge, and initially it was for me. I’m not a phobic person or an anxiety-ridden person, but I had a full-on anxiety attack the first time they put me in it, and I think it’s because once they put the hands on me, I can’t get out on my own. But now, it’s two months later and I’m through it. Now it’s not fear, it’s more loathing.”

He was joking about loathing, by the way. Chiklis is proud to endure a little pain to bring The Thing to life. “In terms of just the personal discomfort, I’m talking about that a lot, but I really want to make it clear that when you put your eyes on the prize and the big picture of it – you look at the dailies and you see what we’re doing – now it gets good to you and you start to go, ‘Wow, this is something special, this is something I can talk to my kids about, my grandkids about. Now this is a special, special job.’”

At this point in shooting, Julian McMahon had not tried on his full Dr Doom costume. He was still working primarily on scenes of Victor Von Doom in Human form. In fact, he was still adjusting to the news that he was the film’s villain. “I’m the bad guy?” McMahon asked innocently. “Wait a second. I need to talk to [the producer] for a second.”

by Fred Topel

Get the full interviews and much more on The Fantastic Four in:
Starburst Special #70

Image © Visual Imagination. Fantasic Four © Marvel/20th Century Fox
Feature © Visual Imagination 2005. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Starburst Special #70, see below for ordering options
Starburst Special #70
Superheroes 2005
ships from Jun 23 2005
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