Playing the role of the same character Academy Award winner Halle Berry portrayed, Alexandra Shipp returns as Storm in the latest epic of the fantasy franchise, X-Men: The Dark Phoenix. This issue, the young actress talks to us about reprising her role as the iconic Marvel character, as well as her on-going battle with the storm of depression brewing within.
Before landing the role of Storm, who was your favourite X-Men character?
Storm has always been a favourite of mine. But I will say that, as an actor, I would love to have superpowers like Raven Darkholme (Mystique) so you can shapeshift to other people. Can Mystique shapeshift into animals? I would want the power to be able to turn to another animal. Like I would want to be a sneaky snake or like something fun. I feel like that would be the coolest superpower.
You have two movies coming up, X-Men: The Dark Phoenix and Shaft; do you find it complicated to play both roles back to back?
Because they’re both very different from one another. Definitely. I think it’s always hard cause as an actor, I’m not just throwing clothes on and saying lines and being present in a scene. I come up with the physicality for them. I come up with a whole back-story. It’s really hard to change skin like that, but you kind of find this rhythm and just rise for the occasion. Sometimes you get months, sometimes you get weeks and sometimes you only get days, so its all about knowing how to break up your work. Even though I was working on X-Men and we were doing re-shoots, I knew I had to get prepared for the next gear. It’s all about finding time. Time management is relatively hard. It’s also about taking time for yourself. I got time for Storm. I got time for my Shaft girl. Now, where’s Alex? Find me those moments in which I can sit down and be present for Storm, sit down and be present for Sasha, and sit down and find myself.
What happens when you pass by the movies and you see your face on a poster, or on movie adverts that are placed on Taxis?
After the first X-men, I remember I was in New York doing press for the movie. On one of the nights in the city, I hailed a cab, and the car that pulls up had my face on it! At that moment, I was alone and I remember liking this guy and things were not working out with him, I was like ‘oh God!’ and went home alone in that very cab with my face on it! I literally went home and wrote a song on it still fully glammed with my guitar. I didn’t even take my heels off when I got home.
What do you do for self-care?
A lot of the times, self-care gets put as backburner. I’m very much a workaholic; no one asked me to do this. My last few jobs, they all overlapped and that’s fantastic but there’s also not a lot of time for yourself. I meditate and I workout and I try to eat right and stay ready. But I think what makes the biggest difference is if you can say ‘alright, I need to buckle down. I need to get my job done, and then I’m going to make time for myself.’
For the full article purchase a copy of Marie Claire June 2019 issue. For a digital copy click here.
Editor & Stylist: Azza Arif
Photographer: Mitchell Nguyen McCormack
Hair: Marcus Francis / Starworks group
Makeup: Dana Delaney / Forward Artists
Styling assistants: Tatiana Isshac & Alex Goransson
Outfit: Hérmes, Michael Kors, Tadashi Shoji and Tod’s