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X-Men recruit Stephen Merchant has eye opener playing albino mutant

Published 28/10/2016

Comedian Stephen Merchant appears in the new X-Men film Logan
Comedian Stephen Merchant appears in the new X-Men film Logan

Comedian Stephen Merchant has admitted that he assumed he would be bulking up for his part in X-Men - but was disappointed to find he simply needed to shave his eyebrows off.

The writing partner of Ricky Gervais appears in the upcoming X-Men instalment Logan and said he had expected to be undergoing a body transformation that would see him become muscly like his co-star Hugh Jackman, who plays Wolverine.

He told The Jonathan Ross Show: "When they said I was going to be in it I thought I was going to be an X-Man.

"I was like 'Do you need me down the gym? What time do you need me there?' They were like, 'We just need you in the barbers at nine.'"

Merchant explained: "I play a giant albino mutant, it's typecasting. I had to shave my head for the role.

"To be honest there aren't a lot of pale-faced, stick thin men in Hollywood so it was either me or they would have done CGI."

The 41-year-old had to dye his eyebrows and eyelashes white for his role as mutant Caliban and said: "It was annoying when I was doing it, I kept asking the producers if I could go out into the real world just for fun, just to go into an old people's home with a scythe and just point."

Merchant has previously spoken about having a nude scene cut from West End play The Mentalists that he signed up to star in without realising it originally required him to get naked, and told Ross that he was unlikely to appear in the buff on film, either.

He said: "I think there's some things you should keep private, I don't think I would because then it's just out there forever and it just sits there in the world."

X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, also being interviewed on the programme, agreed: "Actually I was going to do a movie and they asked me to get nude and I was like no, I mean unless it's like for Martin Scorsese or something but no, you don't need to."

The Jonathan Ross Show airs on Saturday on ITV at 9.50pm.

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