While preparing for his role as TV show host Corny Collins in Hairspray, James watched old videos of Frank Sinatra. He says he wanted to model himself in part after Sinatra while portraying this character.
James worked with his X-Men costar Rebecca Romijn again in the movie The Alibi.
Right before shooting a particularly emotional scene for X-Men: The Last Stand, James was talking about his kids with a crew member, and started to tear up, so the tears in the movie are real.
Some of James' favorite movie characters are Luke from Cool Hand Luke, played by Paul Newman, Indiana Jones, played by Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones, R.P. McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest played by Jack Nicholson and George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life played by Jimmy Stewart.
James' favorite movies are Jaws, The Exorcist, The Godfather and In America.
James has worked with director Bryan Singer on three movies, X-Men, X2: X-Men United, and Superman Returns.
Two weeks after he moved to L.A., James went to an audition for Days of Our Lives, and was offered a long-term contract. He turned it down, but says that being offered that contract gave him a lot of confidence to go out and act in other projects.
James says that he can't stand watching himself act because he finds technical mistakes that he makes every time.
James is a big fan of singer Harry Connick.
James is mistaken for fellow actor Jason Marsden a lot. Being mistaken for each other has led the two to become friends.
James got the role of Corny Collins in Hairspray when the movie's director, Adam Shankman, saw him singing on an episode of Ally McBeal. Before he saw that episode, James wasn't being considered for the role.
James acted in the plays Bye, Bye Birdie, and Good News while he was in high school.
In 2001, James won the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for "Favorite Supporting Actor - Science Fiction" for his role in X-Men. Originally James Cavaziel was offered the role. James had tried out for the role six times, and when James Cavaziel turned down the part, James got it.
In 1994, James appeared in the movie, No Dessert, Dad, Till You Mow the Lawn, as Tyler Cochran.
In 2007, James and the cast of Hairspray won the award for "Ensemble of the Year" at the Hollywood Film Awards.
James is an accomplished singer. He also enjoys photography. He has said that he would love to direct a movie one day.
James' father is a Distinguished Professor of Animal Sciences & Industry at Kansas State University.
James turned down the lead role in the movie, 54. Ryan Phillippe later got the role.
James lost out to Edward Norton for a role in the movie, Primal Fear.
In 1991, while vacationing with his family in Hawaii, James met actor Kirk Cameron and his actress sister Candace Cameron; the Camerons invited Marsden to visit them in L.A. and thus began his career.
James graduated from Putnam City North High School in Oklahoma City in 1991. During high school, he was on the football team but didn't play because everyone made the team. He was the smallest person, weighing only 100 pounds.
James attended Oklahoma State University and was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He intended to major in broadcast journalism, but quit college after a year.
James has two sisters named Jennifer and Elizabeth, and two brothers named Robbie and Jeff.
James is married to Lisa Linde. They were married on July 22, 2000 and have 2 children. Jack, born in 2001 and Mary, born in 2005.
James' nickname is Bello Jimmy and J.P.
James is 5'10½".
James was convinced by his mother to enroll in a drama class as a high school sophomore. She wanted him to try and overcome his shyness.
James: (On celebrating the new year) I am definitely not the guy who drives to Vegas and stands in the middle of the street drunk with beads around his neck. I'm the guy that's with his family in the backyard holding sparklers.
James: (On whether he is happy with his career) Yes, because I have a life. I'm 32, I have two kids and a wife, and that's important to me. Obviously, I want to be working on things I'm inspired by but superstardom is not interesting to me. The only thing I like about [celebrity] is having the power to choose what I'm going to do. I'm not to that point yet-while I have some ability to carve out which scripts I want to go after-but I am doing work that I really believe in.
James: (About his family) They've taught me that I can lead a richer life by living for someone that's not me. For much of my life, I felt like I was just going through the motions. It was like, 'When am I gonna be who I am, so I can start living?' And then it happened: My son was born, my daughter was born, and suddenly, it feels like you're really living. I decided I was going to stop thinking about things so much. I got this push from behind - it was like, 'Just do something. Just go. Do it. Live.'
James: I grew up in Oklahoma, and I feel really grateful for that, because it's given me a perspective on this business that I don't know if I would have had if I'd been raised even in Los Angeles. And that is the fact that it can go away at any second ... you're so lucky to be doing what you love to do and to be making a living at it. So I don't know any other way to be, really. It would be an effort for me to be a difficult, egotistical actor. ... I enjoy it too much; that's what people think is down-to-earth, I guess.
James: In the fifth grade I didn't have any friends. And on top of that, my mom was a cafeteria lady. At that age it's like, 'Mom, don't come up to me and be all sweet and tell me you love me. I'm trying to make friends here'.
James Marsden: I don't care what anybody says, thick black leather from head-to-toe is not the best thing to be doing gymnastics in.
James Marsden: (On how his children, ages 5 and 2, liked his 2007 film "Enchanted") My daughter's too young, but my son is like, "Okay, Dad's on TV, he's wearing puffy sleeves, and he's swinging a sword around. That's cool." Then he eats some popcorn. He thinks I'm cool, but he keeps me grounded too.
James: If you're lucky enough to pick what you do, that's the greatest career you can have. Ultimately, that's my goal: to have choices.
James Marsden: If you're an attractive guy, everyone thinks you're successful just because of the way you look. I hate that.