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Hugh Jackman on X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Published April 28, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
Few actors play the same character four times. Even when some franchises get to part four, they’ve already switched actors twice. Ahem, Batman. Hugh Jackman is sticking with Wolverine. Even without the other X-Men, he’s back for his senior year in the prequel X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Jackman is Wolverine


“Everything felt new to me,” Jackman said. “Everything was new. It took me a little while to get over the fact that Halle Berry wasn’t on set, most days. Sorry, I jest. Yes, I’m playing the same character, but I’m filling in approximately 100 years of his life, that had never been explored before and had been unknown to him. So, it was a chance to reveal that. What Gavin [Hood] and I talked about, right from the beginning, was that we didn’t want that shot at the beginning of the movie, where people say, “Yeah, that’s Wolverine!” I wanted to see him evolve.”

That evolution begins as a boy, and through centuries of wars from The Civil War to Vietnam. “You see him, at the very beginning, as a little kid, very unlike how you would imagine Wolverine to be, as a young boy. That was a wonderful young actor and to watch him evolve was fantastic. Not my main reason, but part of the reason I wanted someone like Gavin, and all the actors shared this feeling, is that he is an amazing actor’s director. He gets straight to the heart of it. He won’t take any B.S. He won’t take anything less than your best, most committed work, all the time. There was many an occasion where I felt a kind of friendly arm around my shoulder after take one, or sometimes before take one. Gavin has that ability, even though I had played the role three times, and yes it may be my fourth time putting the claws on, to make it feel fresh, new, deeper and, hopefully, more honest.”

X-Men Origins: Wolverine X-Men Origins: Wolverine


X-Men Origins: Wolverine X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Don’t worry, fans. You’ll still recognize Wolvy. “About every third day, for the rest of your life, you hear a critique about how you played the part, what you should have done differently, and what you can do the next time, if you ever get a shot at it. I knew exactly what fans wanted, and not just the comic book fans, but fans of the movie. It’s fair to say that, by X-Men 3, Wolverine had gone a little soft, and I agree with them there. What fans love about Wolverine is his more uncompromising approach to life. He is who he is. He’s not always a nice guy. He has got edge. He’s an anti-hero. And, there’s also a vulnerability in there. There is conflict and battles going on in there. With Gavin and the other actors, I had the chance to explore that more.”

This time, the film could be designed totally to support Wolverine’s story. He wouldn’t have to share. “I wanted the film to feel different. Gavin and I talked a lot about the aesthetic and tone of it. It’s a little darker, a little rawer, a little tougher and, hopefully, maybe even a little more human. That’s really what has appealed to me about the comic book. And, no more black leather suits.”

X-Men Origins: Wolverine opens to theaters on April 29th.

For the trailers, posters, stills and more movie info, go to the X-Men Origins: Wolverine Movie Page.


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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of 20th Century Fox
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