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Liev Schreiber on X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Published April 29, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the Kate and Leopold reunion you’ve been waiting for. Finally, Hugh Jackman can face off with Liev Schreiber for revenge. I just assume that’s what you’ve been waiting for after Kate and Leopold because I’ve never seen it, but I remember that they took out a scene where Schreiber sleeps with his grandmother.

Liev Schreiber is Sabretooth


“Something like 12 years ago, Hugh and I did a film together and, believe it or not, I think I actually was bigger than Hugh, in those days,” Schreiber said. “Things have changed, over the years, and he’s grown substantially, as an actor and as a human being, in general. So the first agenda was getting bigger. I made the awful mistake of going online to see what the fans thought and, of course, they said, ‘You need to get bigger.’ So I started working out with Hugh and doing the high-protein diet. Between the two of us, I think we wiped out a whole gene pool of chickens. I know people think that it’s a departure for me, but I don’t really. I feel right at home with that sibling rivalry thing with Hugh. It was a lot of fun.”

When it came time to film, each actor tried to one-up the other. “They said, ‘Would you guys like to do one more?’ and I remember looking across at Hugh, praying to myself that he would say, ‘I’m tired. I want to go home and go to bed.’ And, Hugh said, ‘No, I feel great!’ And I looked across at him and said, ‘Yeah, I feel great, too.’ They looked at Hugh and said, ‘One more?’ and Hugh said, ‘No, I could do two more!’ So I said, ‘Yeah, I could probably do three or four more!’ And that was my sole motivation for the rest of this entire film.”

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


If Schreiber looks badass as Victor Creed, know that he paid for it behind the scenes. “Early on in the film, we were shooting in New Zealand and it was the first big fight sequence for Hugh and I, which was outside of the bar. Hugh and I had rehearsed, day and night, for that. I’ll admit and be candid that I wasn’t sure that, physically, I was up to this role. Now, I know I am, but initially, I was a little concerned. I’m sorry to say this in public, but Hugh and I, being the elder statesmen of this cast, were both rightfully concerned that we wouldn’t be able to pull off the fight that the stunt guys had shown us. Sure, we’d been lifting weights and we looked large, but what they were asking for was truly impossible and brutal. I just remember the third night, after shooting until six in the morning, every night, looking over at Hugh and the two of us were just so smashed up by the fight, and desperate to impress our small sons at home.”

Once the day was over, Schreiber had no trouble shedding his primal persona to become Mr. Naomi Watts at home. “I’ve never been someone who takes characters home with me, at night. The claws and the teeth came off. Unfortunately, the sideburns didn’t. But, I’ve never really had a problem with that. Also, particularly in my case, I was playing anger, which is a relatively easy emotion to access. I know you’re all thinking, ‘Oh, he’s an angry guy!’ No. It’s easy for everyone. It’s a much easier emotion than love.”

X-Men Origins: Wolverine opens to theaters on May 1st.

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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