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Fassbender 'jealous' about not being villain in Dark Phoenix

Michael Fassbender, 42, has been playing Erik Lensherr, the troubled, driven mutant also known as Magneto, since 2011's X-Men: First Class.

Here, the Oscar-nominated German-Irish actor talks about Erik's development through the years, and the comfort level between the actors on set.

What brought you back to the film series?

I loved the journey up to Dark Phoenix and specifically wanted to come back because Simon was directing. He was such a fantastic collaborator and engineer of First Class, Days Of Future Past and Apocalypse, and to see him get in the director's chair, I was really excited for him.

Where do we find Erik in the new movie?

He's finally become the cult leader that was always alive in him! (laughs)

He's formed Genosha, which is this community where mutants can live in harmony and without attack. Anyone who agrees to pitch in and do their part is welcome there.

It's self-sufficient, it's off the grid, and it's his struggles through the series culminating in this physical place.

This is a mature Erik; he's more at peace, and he only leaves this haven out of loyalty. It's like an old Western, he's got to go on his mission.

This feels like Simon driving it to be more character-based.

I think he wanted to strip everything down, boil it down to the bones... even visually, the way he shot it, a lot of it is handheld, and I'm not wearing any Magneto costumes. The helmet is there, but everything is pared down to be a character exploration.

How is the feeling on set? Still having fun?

We trust each other, we depend on each other, and we all like each other. It's a maturation of that relationship.

We're all at ease with one another as we all know each other very well. There's always a respect there about whatever the other person's acting process is, and if anyone is ever struggling on camera, or in a moment, we're all there for each other 100 per cent.

Were you glad not to be the threat this time?

I was a little bit jealous, to be honest. "What? Somebody else is causing trouble?" Although Apocalypse already stole that from me in the movie before, so I was getting used to it!