James Marsden hints when ‘long-awaited’ sequel Disenchanted will be out
X-Men actor James Marsden, 48, on playing peacemaker as a kid, dragging up for his daughter and the sequel to 2007’s Enchanted.
You’re in the new Boss Baby sequel. Why do you think the first film was so popular?
I have three kids and, when it came out, it was the only thing we watched together for a good three months. That’s not hyperbole – my kids were obsessed.
I think the magic ingredient is that there’s always something really moving we can all relate to at the core of these movies. It can’t just be sight gags, funny quips and pop culture references. That, and it’s about an infant in diapers voiced by Alec Baldwin.
What did you relate to?
Something every parent can understand – the feeling of children growing up too quickly. Especially in this world where they are on phones and Instagram too fast and they get savvy about things before they are maybe biologically ready to.
You want to keep them as kids because there is that innocence and purity but you’ve got to let them spread their wings too.
You are one of five siblings yourself. Were you the boss of the family?
Oh no. I had two brothers and two sisters, and I was second. So it was big brother, me, younger brother all about a year-and-a-half apart, so we were constantly at each other’s throats and rough-housing and struggling for our own identities. I was the peacekeeper.
I didn’t like it when there was turmoil or fights going on. I tended to be quietly off daydreaming in my own room or learning a musical instrument.
As a kid, what did you dream of being when you grew up?
I think I wanted to be a race car driver when I was a kid – and I still kind of do! It wasn’t until I did a one-act play in eighth grade and the audience response was really positive that the idea of doing what an actor does excited me.
You get to kind of be goofy, to step out of your own personality and into someone else’s for comedic or dramatic effect.
Have you always been this handsome? Please tell us you had an awkward phase!
That is very, very nice of you. Actually, this takes hours and hours of prosthetic make-up, then I have one of those Ethan Hunt moments where I pull my face off like in Mission: Impossible.
What is your favourite thing you have bought recently?
Do you know what a Coravin is? If you have a nice bottle of wine and you aren’t ready to drink the whole thing, Coravin is a needle thing you can screw on to the top and it extracts a glass of wine but then the bottle keeps for another three months. It’s cool.
Are you back for another season of Dead To Me?
That is on hold at the moment [following co-star Christina Applegate’s MS diagnosis] but I am staying positive that they do figure out a way of finishing the season.
First things first is that Christina takes care of herself and has time to process everything she’s going through. That’s the most important thing.
Which hobby would you like to spend more time doing?
I got into photography a long time ago. I immersed myself in the science of it.
I wanted to be sure that if I took a really great photo, it wasn’t by accident.
What’s on your bucket list?
I would love to go on a safari – the entire immersive experience. Just to be on that side of the planet in that atmosphere and hearing the animal sounds in the distance feels like something so foreign to me.
Halloween is coming up. What is your costume going to be?
My daughter wants to dress me in drag for Halloween. I just said yes. I don’t know quite what I’m getting myself into yet. Maybe I gave her too much power.
Is it true Disenchanted, the sequel to 2007’s Enchanted, is actually happening?
Yes! We just filmed the long-awaited, 15-year sequel in Ireland. I don’t know when it comes out, maybe springtime next year.
I was excited to play that character [Prince Edward] again, though it is kind of hard to play a perfect animated Disney prince charming when you are a whole 15 years older.
You are also currently voicing a pony in My Little Pony: A Next Generation.
Yep, I’m the first male pony brought into the Poniverse – so that is pretty cool! The movie is huge on Netflix now and I had no idea that My Little Pony had such a huge global male fanbase. What do they call them, ‘bronies’? They are like adult men that go to My Little Pony conventions.