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James Marsden

James Marsden

Birthday: 18 September 1973, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA
Birth Name: James Paul Marsden
Height: 178 cm

James Paul Marsden, or better known as just James Marsden, was born on September 18, 1973, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, to Kathleen (Scholz) and James Luther Marsden. His father, a distinguished Professor ...Show more

James Marsden
(2011, on career choices) Every time I read a script, I see the movie in my head, and I try to see t Show more (2011, on career choices) Every time I read a script, I see the movie in my head, and I try to see the best movie in my head because everybody interprets the movie differently. First of all, I think about what I just finished doing. When I finished Straw Dogs (2011), I wanted to do something completely different. This business has been really good to me, in that it has afforded me a lot of opportunities to do very, very different projects. I did the "X-Men" movies, and I did Hairspray (2007). It's almost confusing for people. They're like, "Well, where do we put him? What does he do? He's all over the place". Actors always talk about that balance in their careers. It's your livelihood. It's your job. You get a paycheck. You're paying a mortgage. There's that component. And then, the other side of it is about your creative integrity, and the projects you really feel like you want to be a part of and that you feel like you can contribute to creatively. I believe that, if you're lucky enough to let that captain the ship, then all the other stuff will come along with it. Every movie I do, whether it's a little indie drama, if it's a big-budget action movie, or if it's a romantic comedy, I approach it as, "I want this to be the best of that, that there is." When I started Hop, I told (producer) Chris Meledandri that I would imagine that a lot of actors might want to step into a movie like this thinking, "Oh, this will be easy. It's a kid's movie. I'll just phone it in." I said, "I've gotta tell you, I feel more of a responsibility to do more work on this than I ever have." And he said, "That's exactly right." To me, it was important that the relationship between Fred and the rabbit felt very real, and like him and another human being. Whatever scripts come to me, I read them and I look at the ones that I feel like I can see myself in. You'll feel a spark. You'll be like, "All right, I see this guy. I get this guy. This guy makes me laugh. I know what to do." When I read Enchanted, I was like, "I know who this guy is. Please let me have this. I'll kill this role." Death at a Funeral was the same thing. To me, that was the best role in the movie. I felt really confident about my ability to create that performance. Those are the ones that I go after. And then, within that, I always try to change it up and go from a drama to a comedy to something else. That just keeps it interesting for me. Hide
If you're lucky enough to pick what you do, that's the greatest career you can have. Ultimately, tha Show more If you're lucky enough to pick what you do, that's the greatest career you can have. Ultimately, that's my goal: to have choices. - Interview with Men's Health, May 2007. Hide
Early in your career, you feel like there is a formula, a path you have to take. You have to do this Show more Early in your career, you feel like there is a formula, a path you have to take. You have to do this movie because this person directed it and you have to be associated with these people. In some ways, I have thrown that out. I decided I should go after the roles I like, that I am inspired by and then if I am having a good time, chances are that people will like watching you. (Interview, November, 2011) Hide
[interview with Men's Health] You shouldn't have to give up things that you love in life (to be in g Show more [interview with Men's Health] You shouldn't have to give up things that you love in life (to be in good shape). Yeah, you want to look good, but it's not necessary to look like the statue of David every time you take your shirt off. I'd rather look healthy, have a sound mind, and be comfortable in my own skin. Hide
(2011) When I was younger - up until I was 19 years old and in college - I was surrounded with peopl Show more (2011) When I was younger - up until I was 19 years old and in college - I was surrounded with people in high school who felt like they knew what they wanted to do with their lives, and that was intimidating to me because I didn't. I didn't know what my calling was. I didn't know what I was here on earth to do. I didn't know what my passion was until I discovered the dramatic arts in junior high and high school and I realized, "Oh, I like this. This is something I feel like I'm good at." But, the idea of moving to Hollywood and becoming an actor was really unrealistic...I didn't want to go get a job or get a degree in business or marketing, or whatever all my friends were getting degrees in. I also realized that it's a tough thing to make a career out of being an actor, but I thought, "You know what? I'm going to just make this happen. I'm going to move to L.A." I had really supportive parents. It was great. And, it happened, thank god. To this day, I really can't think of what I would be doing otherwise. I wasn't going to do anything unless I was really passionate about it. I'm a little stubborn that way, actually. Hide
(2007) I did dress in drag for an audition once-to play Penélope Cruz's drag queen best friend in W Show more (2007) I did dress in drag for an audition once-to play Penélope Cruz's drag queen best friend in Woman on Top (2000). I went to Twentieth Century Fox dressed from head to toe in high heels and a dress. I just went for it. My wife dressed me - I thought I'd throw that in there. Hide
If you're an attractive guy, everyone thinks you're successful just because of the way you look. I h Show more If you're an attractive guy, everyone thinks you're successful just because of the way you look. I hate that. Hide
If expectations are low, you can only impress people. But if expectations are there for you to be th Show more If expectations are low, you can only impress people. But if expectations are there for you to be the leading guy, and you've been paid X amount of money, you're on a tightrope and all of a sudden you're looking down. If it was up to me now, I would just stay on the up-and-coming list until I'm like 90. Hide
(2007, on Hairspray (2007)) I would finish a day on "Hairspray" and I wouldn't want to go home. I wo Show more (2007, on Hairspray (2007)) I would finish a day on "Hairspray" and I wouldn't want to go home. I would want to stay there and watch the numbers that I wasn't in. I know it sounds cheesy but it was a real labor of love. I'm so stage-starved that it comes easily for me. I got along tremendously with the cast and with [director] Adam Shankman, who was certainly in his wheelhouse because he comes from something like 25 years of choreography and he was in his element. We were all having fun because he was - and it was great to see John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken just go camp. The movie's not all camp - they wanted to bring a real tone to it - but, obviously, it's colorful and has all those fireworks. It rides on the spectacle. Hide
(2005, on landing Heights (2005)) My agent sent me the script, and they said, you should read this o Show more (2005, on landing Heights (2005)) My agent sent me the script, and they said, you should read this one. They'll do that, they'll send me some scripts and say prioritize this one, cause this is really good. And I read it, and it was just one of those scripts that sucks you in and is engrossing and exciting to read, and I just went, "I want to be a part of it". So I met with (director) Chris Terrio, and we sat in a room for an hour and an half, two hours, and we talked about - it was nice, because normally you go in and you prepare a scene and you read for them and whatever, but he didn't want to do that, he wanted to talk to you. So I came in and we had a conversation about the script, which I thought was great - very Woody Allen. And I just said, "I want to be a part of this, I don't know what character but they're all great, I just want to be a part of this", and we had a long conversation, and they called and offered it, which was fantastic. And I knew it was a Merchant Ivory production, and I wasn't expecting to get the role, really, because how do I fit into a Merchant Ivory production? But if you want me to wear a corset, I will. Hide
[2008, on his costume for Enchanted (2007)] It was very uncomfortable, all our costumes were uncomfo Show more [2008, on his costume for Enchanted (2007)] It was very uncomfortable, all our costumes were uncomfortable. But the costumes helped my performance. For me as an actor, it easier to play an extreme character like this with the costume and the sword and hair. Wearing the costume gets me into the personality of the character and 90 percent of my work is done once I put it on. The costume transforms you. But the novelty of wearing the costume wore off around Week 2, when I realized I had several more months wearing it, as we were moving into the hot humid days of July in New York and then it did become hard work. We were always having a good time making the film but it was definitely important to have a sense of humor while we were filming. It took ten or fifteen minutes just to get my costume on, I had to really manage my time - especially in terms of bathroom breaks. If you needed to get out of the costume, things would have to stop and shut down for twenty minutes - just to get the suit off. Hide
My wife, kids and I still fly coach -- not first-class. I think I have a certain responsibility to l Show more My wife, kids and I still fly coach -- not first-class. I think I have a certain responsibility to let my children know I am not special because of what I do, but who I am as a person. Hide
(2011, on the challenges of filming Hop (2011)) This was certainly the most difficult technical proc Show more (2011, on the challenges of filming Hop (2011)) This was certainly the most difficult technical process that I've been through. It's hard enough to just be a good actor. When you're on set, there's everything going against you. There are walkie-talkies going off, the camera is creaking and moving, there are boom mics, and you have to hit your mark and make sure you don't shadow the other person's face. It's a really technical process. It's difficult because you're there to bring life to a scene and make it feel natural and normal, when all these other things are going on. And then, you subtract a co-star from that, where you're actually talking to nobody and you're looking at little pieces of green tape...I've never been more prepared, in my life. I knew that I couldn't afford to not know my lines and not know where my mark was. I had to know all of Russell Brand's lines and all of the blocking and choreography for "E.B.". The rabbit is not going to move around when you're doing the scene. There's nothing there. So, during the scene, I have to try to remember my lines and keep it natural, and also remember where the rabbit is going for each line. Technically, it was difficult. Every film has got it's own challenges, but this was a technical process. When Kaley Cuoco or Gary Cole came in, I was like, "Thank god! We can act together!" On a movie like this, I never went home thinking, "Man, that scene today was awesome. I really felt it. It really came to life". It was all piecemeal. It was like singing a duet without the other person singing with you. I was like, "I hope whoever is in the editing room with the scissors and the glue makes this all work". Hide
When I entered this business I think people looked at me and said, 'Here's a young, good-looking guy Show more When I entered this business I think people looked at me and said, 'Here's a young, good-looking guy. He should play the romantic lead.' So I played the jock, I played those parts, and it was a good thing. But, over time, as I've gotten older, I realize I have a lot more fun as an actor when I'm doing other things. The more character-driven the role, the better. Hide
(On starting out in L.A. and his fame level now) A little job here, a little job there, and after si Show more (On starting out in L.A. and his fame level now) A little job here, a little job there, and after six months in L.A., I was paying for my rent and my meals. Very slowly, the tiniest of snowballs snowballed from there. At some point, the snowball got to be a nice size, and I wanted it to stay that way. That's sort of now. I don't want it to keep rolling. Or rather, I want it to keep rolling, but I don't want it to keep getting bigger. Hide
(2008) I grew up in Oklahoma, I did always have the blue eyes, but I was pudgy until I was 13 or 14, Show more (2008) I grew up in Oklahoma, I did always have the blue eyes, but I was pudgy until I was 13 or 14, then I got tall and skinny, but I grew up in an area where girls liked athletic football players and I was never that kind of guy. That was their version of Prince Charming and it was not until fairly recently that I became reasonably happy with my appearance and the way I am. I think it is all psychological, but I was never really comfortable with the way I looked and don't see myself as handsome...When I was younger I would try to mold myself into an image of what women wanted and now I am interested in being comfortable in my own skin. I think it is important to have confidence in who you are and embrace that, rather than trying to be someone else. Hide
James Marsden's FILMOGRAPHY
as Actor (99)
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