Australian actor Hugh Jackman may be 46-years-old this year, but he shows no signs of slowing down even a tad bit having played “X-Men” mutant Wolverine for over 14 years in 7 films now.
Donning the claws once again to play a character that had first given him his big break in Hollywood, in “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” audiences will get to see a more nurturing side as opposed to the rough and gruff Wolverine we’ve all come to have known over the years. Perhaps this take of his character is as close as to his real life family man persona.
With an even bigger prominent presence offered to him in this instalment, as well as in the trailer and noticeably on the poster, it’s hard for a A-list Hollywood star of Jackman’s stature to not be engulfed in Tinseltown narcissism, and truthfully, we wouldn’t blame him for that if he was, as after all, Jackman is an all-in-one package, he fights, he sings, he dances, can easily slip into comedy and romance, you name it. But amazingly, the actor is about one of the nicest and most down to earth person in the business and Cinema Online can verify that first hand.
Seizing this golden opportunity (or taking advantage of it, hah!) We get the actor to delve his claws even deeper into the “X-Men” universe and get him to spill on his possible replacement for a reboot, fighting Channing Tatum as Gambit and the global phenomenon; the Wolverine workout!
Cinema Online interview with Hugh Jackman conducted at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Singapore on 14 May 2014.
On set, who got the biggest trailer?
Yeah, embarrassingly it’s me! I say embarrassing because I turned up on the first day of shooting and I just realised I was the only one who was there on set all the time, so they just gave me the biggest trailer and everybody else had a slightly smaller trailer, so it really looked like I was like ‘I want the biggest trailer’, but i never saw myself as the diva and perhaps I have just cast myself in that role.
Your character Wolverine in “Days Of Future Past” seems a bit more tame as compared to the one in “The Wolverine”. Tell us about that.
I’m getting old you know [Laughs]. I can’t fight anymore and I haven’t done stunts in 10 years, but I love that, it’s Simon Kinberg’s idea to reverse the first “X-Men”, which was Professor X recruiting me, encouraging me, and it’s the exact opposite here. The challenge was to not fight, to not take someone’s head off, to not get mad, in order to bring everyone together. These are all qualities that Wolverine is not very good at and I don’t think he even likes doing that.
|Hugh poses with some lucky fans.|
If Hollywood ever tries to reboot “X-Men” or “Wolverine” like how it’s being done now with “Spider-Man”, which actor would be your preferred choice to play Wolverine?
Have you heard the old joke? The four stages of being an actor in Hollywood? ‘Who’s Hugh Jackman’, ‘get me Hugh Jackman’, ‘get me the younger Hugh Jackman’ and ‘who’s Hugh Jackman again’. I’m rapidly approaching the ‘get me the younger Hugh Jackman’, so I’m not going to make it easier for them by actually giving them a name, I at least want to make them work for it!
What do you think about Channing Tatum taking on the role of Gambit over Taylor Kitsch?
I just heard about that this morning and I think it’s great! I thought Taylor Kitsch did a great job in the movie which we had cast him in before, so I feel for him, but at the same time I think Channing is awesome. Maybe I’ll have Wolverine in there to go toe-to-toe with him in the next one!
Talking about the next one, you’ve said you will be doing just one more “X-Men” movie?
I don’t say yes definitively until I’ve seen the script. I love this character and if they keep bringing the story in this direction where I get to show a different side of this character, with a story that has something to say, then sure, I’ll be there! If it’s not like that, then I probably won’t return. I’ve played him 7 times already, I want to feel like there’s different sides to the character to explore.
|Hugh Jackman with Fan Bing Bing and Peter Dinklage at the blue carpet.|
Does it get easier to play Wolverine?
Physically, no. It gets harder, but I also put more demands on myself on how I should look and it’s not about just being buff, I think it’s really important to show the ferocity for the animal side of him, so I need him to be lean and veiny and not pretty, but to be kind of frightening.
What about the famed ‘Wolverine diet’, that’s not easy too is it? Oh it’s not easy at all, trust me! [Laughs] If I wasn’t playing Wolverine I wouldn’t be eating like I am right now. I think its great people are really trying to look after themselves more and more. I was brought up to always try to eat real food, fresh food. I didn’t even know there was such thing as packaged cookies, I thought if you wanted cookies you needed to make them from scratch. So I was always brought up with that and that’s how I maintain my diet and health to this day.
“X-Men: Days Of Future Past” comes to cinemas this 22 May 2014.