Introducing ‘X-Men: First Class’ Star Alex Gonzalez

With the DVD release of X-Men: First Class slated for September 9th, we caught up with one of the film's hunky stars: Alex Gonzalez. The 31-year-old Spanish actor stars in the film as Janos Quested (AKA Riptide)—a villain who creates powerful whirlwinds that can uproot even the most formidable of foes. Gonzalez spoke to about playing the popular villain, told us why fans should check out the X-Men First Class DVD, and explained why he's reluctant to accept his new heartthrob status.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raisedas you can tell from my Englishin Madrid, Spain. My career as an actor had been entirely in Spain until I got this movie. 

When did you come to the U.S.?

Last year I worked on a project in Germany where I had to speak English with the director, and I had such a hard time learning English that I left to London to study English. While I was in London, they called me to audition for X-Men. I auditoned, talked to the director, and got the part. After that, we started filming the movie, which meant spending four months in London, one month in Georgia, and  two months in Los Angeles. Getting the role in the movie was a gift.

Your character Riptide in X-Men: First Class is very violent and dark. Is he all bad?

Riptide is one of the Marauders and technically he's one of the villains in the film. However, I don't like to say that he's a villain. In my opinion what makes X-Men different from other action movies is that the movies help you understand why people do the things that they do. If there is a sequel to {X-Men: First Class}, I'd like to explore why Riptide is the way that he is. I’d like to know why he has so much pain inside of him.

Do you enjoy playing villains?

Yes, because people always tell me that I have the face of a good, innocent guy—I don't know where they see that! {Laughs}. Because of that, I don't get offered the role of a villain. I had a great time playing Riptide because playing a "bad guy" gives you the opportunity to do things that you can never do in real life. Riptide is egotistical and aggressive and he flips out in ways that I could never flip out in real life. {Laughs}. So it's a privilege to be able to explore that in fiction. Al Pacino said something recently that I agree with. He said, "the more different the characters that I play are, the more I get know myself." I think that's very true. Sometimes you think you're not capable of doing something and by playing a role, you unlock another part of yourself. 

Why should people check out the X-Men: First Class DVD?

For lots of reasons! First, because if you're a fan, you'll have the opportunity to see all of the actors talking about their characters in interviews. You'll also get to see how the special effects were done and see other behind the scenes stuff, like deleted scenes. It's very interactive. And finally, you should go out and get it because X-Men: First Class is a movie that you should have in your movie collection!

Will you be in the sequel to X-Men: First Class?

When we signed on to do the movie, we all signed on for three movies. But whether they make a sequel depends on a lot of factors—including the sales of the DVD. But I would love it! I would enjoy it so much more this time, because when I was making X-Men: First Class I was so busy learning English that I didn’t get the opportunity to really enjoy every minute of it. 

Since you starred in the movie, a lot of women have been calling you a heartthrob of sorts. What do you think when you hear that?

I haven't heard that, but if someone were to say that to me—I almost would rather not hear it because it takes you out of your artistic side. In this industry, there is something that I've learned: you can't believe everything people tell you. If they call you hot, you can say thank you, but when you get home you have to know that it's not true. Just because you come out on the big screen—and that makes you larger-than-life—you can't believe everything you hear. If you do, you will be lost.