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Alexandra Shipp's Big Screen Hopes For X-Men's Storm And Following In Halle Berry's Footsteps - Exclusive

During her decade-plus in Hollywood, Alexandra Shipp has proven she can play any character. She first rose to prominence portraying beloved singer Aaliyah in the television movie "Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B" and soon afterwards starred as Ice Cube's wife Kimberly Woodruff in the critical and commercial darling "Straight Outta Compton." She then went on to play Abby in the popular coming-out comedy "Love, Simon" and was seen singing and dancing as Susan in the acclaimed Lin-Manuel Miranda-directed musical "tick, tick...BOOM!" Most recently, she appears as the fierce but endearing Regina in the femme vigilante thriller "Asking For It."

However, there is no role Shipp has gained more notice for than that of Storm in the superhero "X-Men" franchise. In the most recent two films in the series, 2016's "X-Men: Apocalypse" and 2019's "X-Men: Dark Phoenix," Shipp plays a young version of the weather-controlling mutant, taking over for Halle Berry, who originated the role in 2000's "X-Men." In an exclusive conversation with Looper, Shipp shared the reason that landing the role of Storm was validating for her and discussed her hopes for the future of the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Following in her idol's footsteps

In "X-Men: Apocalypse," Shipp's Storm is just coming into her powers and hasn't yet joined the X-Men. It's exhilarating to watch the character learn to use her powers on screen, but the role holds a special place in Shipp's heart for a very specific reason. "It was really exciting to play a role that Halle Berry played only because she is my acting idol," Shipp revealed. "When I think about when I first moved to Los Angeles to be an actor, my mom told me to find someone that I admired and try and do what they did. I definitely did that with Halle, and I did soap operas and modeling and things like that. To be able to play Storm was really huge for me. It felt like the universe was telling me that I was on the right path."

While Shipp appreciated her time as Storm, talk that the X-Men may be rebooted for the Marvel Cinematic Universe has her hoping someone new will get a chance to embody the character. "As for doing it again in the future, I would love to see a woman of darker complexion play Storm, personally," Shipp confessed. "It's time that the studios give the audience what they want."

Shipp can currently be seen in "Asking For It," which is now playing in select theaters and available for rental and purchase on digital and video on demand.