No matter where you work, there's always a bit of stress. But try to imagine the about
of stress you'd feel if your job was to play a character who's a hero,
an icon, and a familiar friend to legions of comic book fans. Such is the
stress actor Hugh Jackman might've felf when he strapped on the Ginsu knives
to play Wolverine in the new film The X-Men. Talking with the Australian
actor now, though, he certainly diesn't sound like he's got the whole comic
book world weighing down on his shoulders. With the kind of unstressed
cool that normally comes from denial, ignorance, indifference, or alcohol
abuse - though none of these apply - Jackman talks
about playing the easily angered furball with the kind of ease normally
reserved to a kid playing the easily angered furball in a game.
Is it true you
were unfamiliar with the X-Men before this?
Yeah, I had never heard of it. There was this Austrialian rock band called The Uncanny X-Men but that was about as far as I got. But the X-Men are big in Australia, so I don't know what rock I was living under.
Was there ever a point at which you wished you were on of the other characters instead of Wolverine?
I thought Gambit
was kind of fun, but reading the comics confirmed to me that I had gotten
the best part. Wolverine is funny, he's mad, he gets angery enough where
he goes berserk, and, kind of like most Australians, he's got a healthy
disrespect for authority - he's just great fun to play.
Before doing X-Men, you did a production of the musical Oklahoma!. Did you ever break into song on the set?
Yeah, sometimes [Laughs.] Sometimes I'd be really pissed off, so I'd kick a door down while singing "Oh what a beautiful morning."
Prior to Christmas, they got us together to show us some of the scenes from the movie. But in the middle of it, they intercut shots of me with a perm as Curly from Oklahoma!. It was absolutely humiliating, but it was very funny.
I'll tell you this
story I just remembered. We were doing this scene towards the end of the
movie where is't all coming to a crisis, and anyone could get killed at
any time, so it's very tense. So three of the X-Men are looking at me -
I was off camera - when all of a sudden this guy in a Spider-Man costume
jumped out from behind a pillar.Well, the three of them didn't turn around,
but the rest of us were just pissing ourselves. Then Spider-Man looked
around and said, "Oh I'm sorry, I think I'm in the wrong movie." [Laughs.]
It was the funniest thing.
Did you accidently stab someone with your claws?
Yup. We had a little
accident with the stunt double for Mystique. Not too serious, but I'll
tell you, it frightened the hell out of me.
Did you do anything cool with them, like open soda cans?
Yeah, I roasted marshmellows.
[Laughs.] Actually we did one take for the goof reel where I jumped
out into the classic Wolverine position with the claws out, but the claws
were like a Swiss army knife. I had scissors on one hand, a fork, a magnifying
Finally, the movie is also being made into a video game. Are you okay with people controlling your every move?