Montreal real estate agent gets big break in “X-Men: Apocalypse”

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MONTREAL (CTV) — There aren’t too many real estate agents out there who have also tried to bring an end to the world as a part-time job.

Yet film audiences across the world were able to see Berdj Garabedian do just that in the recent blockbuster “X-Men: Apocalypse,” in which he played the older version of the titular villain seen at the beginning (after transferring his essence to a younger man, Apocalypse is played by Oscar Isaac).

The Apocalypse costume and makeup required hours of preparation to put on, but made playing the role of a God-like figure with devastating powers easier to play.

“It gives you a personality, like you walk and you feel like you’re a king or something,” said Garabedian.

Of course, what comes on must come off. That made using the men’s room a bit of an ordeal that required lots of advance warning.

“I wasn’t going to hold up production,” said Garabedian. “Maybe 20 minutes, a half hour of advance notice. You know, it’s a big thing to take off everything.”

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While the 70-year-old Garabedian has worked as an extra for years but his role as one of the greatest comic-book villains of all time was by far his largest.

He had originally auditioned for the part of an Egyptian holy man, a role he thought he would be perfect for given he was born in that country.

After waiting weeks for a callback, it finally came through — albeit, for a different part entirely.

“When I went in for the second audition, I didn’t know what role it was for,” he said. “They told me they were considering me to be the old Apocalypse.”

While Garabedian didn’t have any lines, his scenes still had a tremendous visual impact.

“When the golden mask comes off and you see yourself, I mean, it’s incredible the feeling you get,” he said.

It was a lot of work to achieve the desired effect. On his first day on set, he woke up at 10:00 a.m. and worked until midnight, after which he still had to sit for 45 minutes while his makeup was removed.

The next week followed a similar grueling schedule.

Still, Garabedian hopes audiences haven’t seen the last of him. Of his big break, he laughed and said, “I hope it’s not the last one.”

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