CHARACTER: Magneto (Erik Lehnsherr) played by Michael Fassbender
Charles Xavier (played by James McAvoy) has already become embroiled in a looming war between the US and the Soviet Union, when he saves the life of a mutant possessing formidable powers and a haunted past that has already set the mutant, Erik Lehnsherr, on a path that will soon take him to a war with Charles. But for now, they are friends and kindred spirits.
Charles is fascinated with Erik’s potential. Erik is very wary of new elements in his life and of getting close to someone again. Erik is also hesitant to join Charles on his mission to save the world from itself. Why, asks Erik, is humanity even worth saving? "Erik is quite Machiavellian; he believes the end justifies the means," Fassbender explains. "He has no regard for humans, and feels they’re inferior."
Erik’s cavalier attitudes about humans stem from his childhood, which couldn’t have been more different from Charles’ life of privilege. Erik had to survive without parents, and as a youngster was forced to endure unimaginable hardships.
CHARACTER: Sebastian Shaw played by Kevin Bacon
Sebastian Shaw, a powerful mutant who can absorb energy and re-channel it into superhuman strength. Shaw moves among the shadows with a secret agenda that threatens the entire planet: he will stop at nothing to start a war, and if he succeeds, mankind is doomed.
"Conventional morality does not apply to Shaw. In his mind he believes that mutants and humans will never be able to live together, so it is survival of the fittest, and Shaw is determined to protect the mutant race. He is driven by his firm belief that he thinks he is the right leader for the new world," explains Kevin Bacon.
CHARACTER: Emma Frost played by January Jones
Shaw’s right-hand… mutant – and romantic interest – is Emma Frost, long celebrated as the sexiest woman in comic book lore, ahead of other femmes fatales like Catwoman and Elektra. Portraying Emma, a telepath with diamond-like, indestructible skin is January Jones.
The fact that the comics’ incarnation of Emma features impressive cleavage – and little else – didn’t faze Jones, who was delighted to wear the outfits costume designer Sammy Sheldon created for her.
For a quick introduction to Emma Frost and her background, check out this useful video from the guys over at Comic Vine