James Marsden or James Paul Marsden (born September 18, 1973) is an American actor, singer and former Versace model. He is best known for playing the superhero Cyclops in the first three X-Men films and for his roles in other commercially successful films such as Hop, Superman Returns, Hairspray, Enchanted, The Box, and 27 Dresses.
Marsden got his first job on a series of episodes of The Nanny as Eddie, Margaret Sheffield's boyfriend. He then went on to star in the Canadian television series Boogies Diner, which aired for one season. With the end of that series, he guest starred on other television shows such as Saved by the Bell and Party of Five. He later starred in the ABC show Second Noah. He lost out to Edward Norton for a role in Primal Fear and turned down the lead role in 54, which later went to Ryan Phillippe. He then went on to star in Disturbing Behavior opposite Katie Holmes and Gossip opposite Kate Hudson. He also appeared in the television series Ally McBeal, as one of the main cast members during the first half of season 5, where he also showcased his singing abilities.
In 2007, James Marsden played Corny Collins in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical based on the 1988 John Waters movie Hairspray, There he also made his musical debut by singing two of the film's songs, "The Nicest Kids In Town" and "(It's) Hairspray." Both "Hairspray" and the film's soundtrack were critically acclaimed. The soundtrack has sold over 1,200,000 copies to date in the United States, and has been certified Platinum by the RIAA. His next role was in the Disney hybrid animated/live action film Enchanted, playing Prince Edward, He sang one song as a duet with Amy Adams at the beginning of the film and a duet with Idina Menzel that was cut from the film. Enchanted was well received critically and proved to be a commercial success, earning more than $340 million worldwide at the box office.
Following his successes in 2007's Hairspray and Enchanted, Marsden played the male lead in the 2008 romantic comedy 27 Dresses opposite star Katherine Heigl, which grossed $160 million worldwide. He also starred in the teen comedy Sex Drive along side Josh Zuckerman and Seth Green. Though the film was a moderate success, Marsden's performance was heavily praised. Marsden also received a Teen Choice Awards nomination for Choice Movie Actor in a Comedy for his roles in Enchanted and 27 Dresses.
In 2009, Marsden also played the male lead in the film The Box, based on the 1970 short story "Button, Button" by author Richard Matheson, which was earlier made into an episode of The Twilight Zone. He starred opposite Cameron Diaz and re-united with Superman Returns co-star Frank Langella. In 2010, Marsden was cast in the comedy Death at a Funeral, which was a remake of the 2007 British film of the same name. Marsden was then cast as Cyclops in the X-Men films, Marsden also appeared in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, Marsden was cast as Lois Lane's fiancé, Richard White.
Marsden made an appearance on ABC's Modern Family in January 2011, playing a homeless squatter of Cam and Mitchell. In April, Marsden appeared as the male (live-action) lead in Hop, a Easter-themed comedy co-starring Russell Brand as the Easter Bunny. The film was an instant success, opening at the top of the weekend box office with $38.1 million.