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Famke Janssen Speaks Candidly About Her Departure From ‘X-Men’: Producers ‘Gave Up On Me’

Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Famke Janssen during the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Champions for Change Gala on October 17, 2017 in New York City. Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

She’s a straight shooter. Famke Janssen spoke candidly about her departure from the X-Men movie franchise in an exclusive interview with Us Weekly. The 52-year-old actress, who played Jean Grey in four installments of the popular series, told Us why she won’t be reprising her iconic role while attending the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Champions for Change Gala on Tuesday, October 17.

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“I didn’t give up, they gave up on me. There’s a big difference,” Janssen said of the producers’ decision not to include her in X-Men: Apocalypse, which was released in May of 2016, and how they cast Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner to play a younger, 1980s version of Jean Grey. 

Janssen pointed out that sexism might be behind the casting change. “It was their [producers’] decision, you know? It’s like what happens in life. You get, well not to me thankfully. But people, just like men trade women in for a younger model version. It’s like that.”

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In 2016, the “Blacklist” alum opened up about Turner’s casting in an interview with Entertainment Weekly Radio. “She emailed me before she started filming wanting some pointers,” Janssen said of the 21-year-old actress. “And I said, ‘You don’t need any. You’re perfect. You’re great.’ So I can’t wait to see the movie and what she’s done with it.”

Hugh Jackman, James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Patrick Stewart in X-Men
Hugh Jackman, James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Patrick Stewart in ‘X-Men’

The brunette beauty, who said she was “really excited” to watch Turner play a young Jean Grey, went on to tell the publication that this is not the first time the film’s producers have replaced an older actress with someone younger. “In the X-Men series, they’ve been doing this for years. Although women, it’s interesting because they’re replaced, and the older versions — or more mature, whatever the politically correct version of that is — are never to be seen again. Whereas the men are allowed to be both ages. Sexism. I think that I should be back along with my younger version and the way that we’ve seen it with Magneto and Professor X,” she affirmed. 

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Meanwhile, the Golden Eye star, who has several upcoming film projects in the works, opened up to Us about playing Viola Davis’ love interest in How to Get Away With Murder. Calling the 52-year-old star a “power house” and an “incredible actress,” Janssen admits the acting duo had not met each other before filming intimate love scenes.

“Hi, I’m Famke.’ ‘Hi, I’m Viola.’ Alright, let’s make out kind of thing,” she recalled of their first moments on set. “The opportunity to work with her and have such a strong relationship between the two of us was wonderful.”

With reporting by Marc Lupo

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