The first X-Men film back in 2000 was a landmark in the comic book genre as it was credited as the movie that spawned the reemergence of modern superhero films. It was directed by Bryan Singer, who also went on to direct X2 and Days of Future Past as well as the DC film Superman Returns.
However, in the past several years, Singer became a controversial figure due to allegations of predatory behavior, and reports have also surfaced regarding his meltdowns and conflicts with the stars of the X-Men films.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment, award-winning actor Brian Cox, who played William Stryker in X2, shared his thoughts about the allegations against Singer and said that the director was "under a lot of strain" during the film's production.
"One of his great things was that when he came to a new set, he would have to rethink it. He'd have a thought, and then have to rethink [the scene]. So that was always a difficult transition for him. But once he cracked it, he cracked it very quickly and was able to get on with it," he said.
Unlike most comments and statements that we've heard from other actors and colleagues who worked with the director, Cox went on to praise Singer for putting the trust in him for the role of the villain in the sequel.
The Succession star shared that 20th Century Fox had a different actor in mind to play the role, but Singer was committed to casting him due to his previous roles such as Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter.
"I think he's an extraordinary director — really, really gifted," the actor continued. "Certainly I will always be grateful to him because he had confidence in me and got me the role. I played a waiting game and it worked."
Fox's X-Men franchise ended a few years ago with the releases of Dark Phoenix (where Singer was an uncredited producer) and The New Mutants. Marvel Studios is currently working on introducing the mutants and integrating the X-Men as part of the MCU.
X2 is available to stream on Disney+.