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X2's Gambit tells his story

Stuntman was hired to play X-Men's resident cajun character

By Patrick Sauriol     April 28, 2003
Source: Stunts Canada and Robert N.

Canadian stuntman James Bamford got a lucky break while working on the Vancouver set of X-MEN 2. Bamford had been hired to play the role of Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman's stunt double, but when director Bryan Singer needed someone to play the character of Gambit, and at a moment's notice, Singer pointed to Bamford and told him it was his lucky day.

While Bamford filmed a small scene as Gambit, his part was edited out of the final cut of X2. As it stands now the only mention of Gambit is on a computer screen in Stryker's office, and even then only under the character's real world name, Remy LeBeau. Still, fans of the popular X-Men rogue can't help but wonder what Bamford's part was.

Part of the mystery surrounding the casting decision has been lifted thanks to a post Bamford left for fans seeking more information about his participation in X2. "I was given the part as Gambit by the director, basically for my look," explained the 36-year-old actor/stuntman. "I was working on the show as Wolverine's stunt double for rehearsals, and I was called in to be looked at for Gambit. I was on set the next day shooting the scene. I could not continue to double Wolverine on film because of a rehearsal injury.

"The scene that I was involved in as Gambit took only one day to shoot. It was a very small part, a cameo. There are no photos that I have from the film to give out, sorry. I did not do any screen test or audition, as I mentioned before, the director just looked at me and picked me. I have no contract for the next film, and I am sure that they will recast the character with a better known actor. If the next one shoots in Vancouver again, there is a good chance that I will work on it though, in some other capacity.

"Thank you for your interest and support," Bamford wrote to one fan who then forwarded us his reply. "I would love to continue to play the role as I am an avid martial artist, one of my favorite weapons is the staff!! I would have alot of fun doing it, but it is most likely not in the cards though."

Another Vancouver-based actor was a little more lucky than Bamford was. As Coming Attractions first reported exclusively months ago, we can now confirm that Steve Bacic, best-known for his occasional guest appearances on GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA, can be spotted on a TV screen as Dr. Hank McCoy. X-fans will immediately recognize McCoy's name as that of The Beast, but in the character's cameo in X2, he's not covered in blue fur just yet.

[Thanks to Robert for sending us the email!]

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