One of the X-Men’s most beloved and bad-ass members, Bishop, finally joins the party in the upcoming “Days of Future Past.” In the seventh installment of the X-Men franchise, Bishop (played by Omar Sy) is one of the few surviving X-Men who have been mercilessly slaughtered by the Sentinels, robots who are specifically programmed to wipe out anyone with mutant abilities or latent mutant genes. Bishop, along with his fellow teammates, protect Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) as she sends Wolverine back in time to 1973 to prevent the creation of the Sentinels by industrialist Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage).
Born to African parents ( his father is Sengalese, his mother is from Mauritania) in Trappes, France, Sy is an award winning actor who’s mega-watt smile and gregarious nature make him the ideal leading man.
We’ve rounded up five interesting facts about Hollywood’s hottest new import:
1. He’s opening the doors for other Black actors around the globe.
Sy made history in 2012 as the first Black actor to win the Best Actor Cesar (the French equivalent of the Oscar) for his work in “The Intouchables,” beating out Jean DuJardin, who would go on to win an Academy Award for “The Artist.”
In an interview with TakePart.com, Sy said of his landmark win: “If I’m seen as the first black actor to get a César, for me, that’s secondary. My hope is that it becomes something normal, a non-issue. There are a lot of young talents from the projects that are black and all other colors. They’re confronted with a lot of closed doors. But maybe those doors actually don’t even exist. The message in winning this is that it is possible.”
WATCH: Omar Sy’s acceptance speech at the 2012 Cesars
2. The ladies love Omar
When you’re tall, dark handsome and speak fluent French like Sy, the female population is bound to take notice. At a recent press conference, “Days of Future Past” co-star Hugh Jackman shared that the women went in full stan mode whenever Sy came on set: “I have worked on lots of movies, but I have never seen women go crazy the way they did for Omar. I was walking out of the makeup trailer, and when Omar walked in, three women literally collapsed!”
Producer Lauren Shuler-Donner added: “Omar has a loveliness about him. His smile just lights up the world.”
3. He follows his passion
Initially Sy’s acting ambitions weren’t exactly embraced by his more traditional parents. “I understood from a very young age that school was important and that my parents were making great sacrifices for me,” Sy told The Daily Beast . “Every morning I saw my father get up and go to a job that he didn’t really like. They came to France for the same reasons all immigrants move to another country—so their kids could have a better way of life.”
But a month before taking his senior high school finals, he dropped out and became one half of “Omar et Fred,” a tv series where Sy and fellow comedian Fred Testot would pose as crazy customers and haze unsuspecting customer service reps.
4. Call him the Black Fred Astaire
One of the more memorable scenes from “The Intouchables” is when Sy’s character, Driss, livens up a stuffy cocktail party with some Earth, Wind and Fire.
5. He’s about that Hollywood hustle
Sy, who splits his time between his native France and Los Angeles, has caught the eye of American filmmakers, landing some sweet gigs in the process. In addition to joining the X-men franchise, Sy soon starts shooting “Jurassaic World” (slated for a 2015 release). Sy also stars in the upcoming thriller “Good People” – when a young couple (James Franco, Kate Hudson) in debt find a cache of cash in their dead tenant’s apartment, they find themselves the target of the thief who originally stole it.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” opens in theaters Friday, May 23rd!
WATCH: “Bishop” Featurette
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