'Marvel's Runaways' star Clarissa Thibeaux shares challenging experience on playing gender-fluid shape-shifter Xavin
From the comic books to the big screen, actress Clarissa Thibeaux gave life to Xavin, the gender-fluid shape-shifting character on the Marvel's popular show 'Runaways'.
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) had a tête-à-tête with the Marvel 'Runaways' star and we unraveled her experience of playing such a wonderfully complex character on the show. "When I first found out that I got Xavin, it was kind of overnight, I kind of found it via Facebook, which is highly irregular but I got a message from the casting director on Facebook, saying, 'You got it!' It was really exciting and everything happened really fast," says Thibeaux on bagging the role on the show.
Once she was in, that same afternoon she met the entire cast for a table read and the day after that she went in for a hair and makeup test and then that Wednesday, she shot her first scene. So, basically everything was happening so fast, you know they work at supersonic speed!
For playing such a role, a preparation comes handy and Thibeaux told us, "As soon as I found out, I went online, Googled Xavin, found the Wikipedia page, then I was like okay these are the comic books I need to look for. I went to the comic book store, sort of just rifling through trying to find every image of Xavin, which is kind of hard since Xavin is a shapeshifter. So, there were some scenes that I didn't realize was Xavin at first and I had to re-read and go."
Being a shapeshifter on the show is actually one of the coolest things ever and here's what Thibeaux had to say about the first impression of Xavin and how she decided to give it a different spin than the comics. "When I first went through the comic books and saw some of the more iconic moments with Xavin, what stood out to me was the comedic nature of that dry humor that Xavin has and the blatant honesty, so when I went into doing the TV show, I tried to honor that as best as I could. But of course, with the writers and the directors, you know, we're all working as a team to have a final product that's the creative vision. So, I try to stay as close to the comic books as I can with what I'm given. I hope people like it," she said.
On being asked what Thibeaux's goals were now that the show has gone into the third and final season, she says, "I really wanted to show an emotional progression with Xavin and it's hard because Xavin is quite muted and an alien. So human emotion is something that's really new to Xavin, which was an interesting challenge to me as an actor to take it down a few notches, but not too far that people wouldn't see what I was doing. So letting emotion kind of just peek out at the right moments was something that was really fun to play with this last season."
In an alternate universe, if the show was supposed to be renewed for a new season, Thibeaux says she would love to explore continuing that emotional change within Xavin and because there's a softening and an acceptance that happens within Xavin. To add to it, she also mentions how she would love to explore more of Xavin's powers — all the different things like cosmic magic that comes with his character.
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