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Feature: Mutant X

Mutant X star Lauren Lee SmithEm Appeal!

Mutant X's new recruit Lauren Lee Smith tells Steven Eramo why she's glad to be playing a girl next door with something x-tra...

Also interviewed in this issue: Lauren Lee's Mutant X
co-star Forbes March (Jesse Kilmartin)

At a passing glance, Mutant X's Emma deLauro could be your daughter, girlfriend... the archetypal all-American girl next door. However, as the old saying goes, looks can be deceiving. Behind those big blue eyes is the mind of a telepath and an empath. Emma can sense the feelings of others and plant suggestions in peoples' minds that can influence their behavior. Playing such a character has proven to be quite a departure from the roles which Lauren Lee Smith had played in the past.

"What first attracted me to the part was the fact that it was completely unlike anything I'd done before," enthuses the actress. "I'm relatively new to the film and TV business. I've only been at it a little over two years. Everything I've done so far has been very much the girl-next-door type or the sweet girlfriend. I mean, in my last job I played a schoolteacher from 1912. So when I read the audition sides for Emma, I thought, ‘Cool! She's a sexy girl and an action chick that gets to kick some butt. I like that!' When I met with the writers to talk about what they had planned for Emma, that got me all the more excited. With every episode I'm learning more and more about the character, and that's been great for me."

Emma is a child of Genomex, a biotech firm that has been conducting secret experiments on behalf of the US government. Their work has produced genetic mutations in a few hundred men and women, which has given them superhuman and, in some cases, dangerous powers. Ttheir offspring, like Emma, are taken by surprise as their inherited abilities begin to surface, and find themselves caught between the heavies of the Genetic Security Agency and a more benign band of mutants.

"At the start, Emma is very scared and shocked by everything," notes Smith. "She doesn't know what to make of the GSA or Adam and the Mutant X team. In the first two episodes she's more or less this young party girl. Little by little, though, Emma gradually matures into a well-rounded individual. She's becoming far more comfortable using her powers and working with Adam as well as the others.

"The pilot was a lot of fun to shoot," she continues. "The entire cast was flown up to Vancouver a month early in order to train with our fight coordinator, Paul Rapovski. This helped us become familiar with each other, so once we stepped onto the set it wasn't like, ‘Well, who's this person? What's he/she like?'

"One of my favorite scenes was where Emma and Brennan are being chased by Frank Thorne and his men. That took almost the entire day to film. Believe me, it wasn't easy running in those high heels Emma had on. There were times when Victor was holding my hand and literally pulling me along," laughs Smith. "If we had to stop suddenly, which we did, I'd go flying forward. Thankfully, Victor would always catch me before I went too far."

by Steven Eramo

Get the full seven-page double feature, with Forbes March and Lauren Lee Smith interviewed, plus more pictures from Mutant X... when you
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Images © Tribune / Marvel
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

Excerpts taken from
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Xposé #64
February 2002
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