When you think of the first time James Marsden came to your attention, what comes to mind: almost buying the farm in Disturbing Behaviour, being hit on by Ally McBeal or donning a cool pair of shades as Cyclops in X-Men?
Whichever one it is, there’s no denying those piercing eyes, bright smile and sparkling talent stood out more than once. Today Marsden turns 42, and M-Net Movies is celebrating with these ten fun facts:
- His father is a food scientist – not quite Professor X, but still pretty cool.
- Remember Full House? Marsden got into acting, because of Candace Cameron, who played D.J. on the popular sitcom.
- Even though his early foray into music with a high school band was rather embarrassing, he later proved he could sing with roles in Hairspray and Enchanted.
- Marsden took on the part of POTUS in The Butler, playing John F. Kennedy.
- The scene in the train station in X-Men where a young boy smiles at Cyclops was unscripted. The actor playing the boy was such a huge fan of the comic books he couldn’t help smiling when he saw his favourite character. Marsden finally decided to smile back, and Bryan Singer liked it so much he kept it in the movie.
- Before filming The Notebook Marsden felt he’d be working on “a schmaltzy Movie of the Week–type thing." Many would still agree with his initial sentiment.
- First class flights? Not for Marsden. When he travels with his family he flies economy to teach his children that it’s not your status, but your character, that’s important.
- On the note of family, he has three children: two boys and a girl.
- Like many actors, he’s done a stint of modelling, having worked with Versace in his youth.
- His career started in TV with small parts in The Nanny, Party of Five and Touched By An Angel. In later years he received recurring roles in AllyMcBeal and 30 Rock, and had a guest spot in the second season of Modern Family.