Movie Feature

Hugh Jackman: A young worry wart

By Zaki JufriMovies - 23 May 2014 9:00 AM | Updated 02 June 2014

Hugh Jackman: A young worry wart

If given the opportunity to go back in time to change history, Hugh Jackman, 45, would choose to return to 1985.

“No doubt, it would have to be high school, just for all the choices I made,” the good-humoured actor, who plays Wolverine in the 'X-Men’ movies, joked.

“It’s not about girls, money or clothes. I think I took things too seriously back then. Everything was so important to me. I worried too much about exams, what university I would go to, and what career options (there) were. Looking back, everything I was worrying about, did not matter at all. Maybe being that kind of person made me who I am today, but I wished I had a little more fun,” he told inSing in an interview when the cast was in Singapore to promote ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ last week.

But he was quick to add: “If you go back in time to erase all the things you got wrong or regret, would you end up being the person you are today? I know it’s a cliche, but you do learn three times as much from your mistakes than from all your successes.”

In the movie, Wolverine is sent to the 1970s to try to change critical events and prevent an apocalypse for both humans and mutants. (Read the review here.)

Wolverine
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in 'X-Men' (2000). Photo: 20th Century Fox

FROM CURLY TO SURLY  

The ‘X-Men’ movies might have turned out differently if Jackman had not been cast as Wolverine 14 years ago. 

Who would have thought that this clean-cut actor with an Australian accent could pull off playing the surly, burly mutant with claws?

Jackman, then 31, was playing Curly in the musical ‘Oklahoma!’ at London’s West End, as well as acting in a string of musical productions and television commercials.

Fanboys at that time howled in unison at the news that the 1.88m-tall actor was cast as Wolverine, who is a diminutive 1.6m in the comics.

Seven movies later, Jackman is still the Wolverine, one of the most iconic characters in comic-book history.

””
Jackman takes a selfie with a fan during the Singapore premiere of 'Days of Future Past'

Much like how Sean Connery will always be James Bond, Christopher Reeve is Superman and Robert Downey Jr is Iron Man, Wolverine/Logan will always be associated with the Australian actor.

And he will continue playing everyone’s favourite X-Man for a while longer.

Read also: Hugh Jackman’s best movies

He said: “It is a role that I’m grateful to have. I’ve been in the business long enough to know how rare something like this is – to play such a great part in a series that I’m proud of. 

“’X-Men’ is the first movie that I’ve done in America. It completely changed my life and still continues to. People have asked me when I am going to give it up, but it is a hard thing to imagine because it is very close to me. It feels like a part of who I am.” 

In ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’, now showing in cinemas, it is up to Wolverine to save the day again. 

(Left to right) Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy and Micheal Fassbender in a scene from 'Days of Future Past'

The character is at the centre of the story that features old and new mutants as well as the good and bad ones.

Jackman is joined by the original ‘X-Men’ cast including Ian McKellan (Magneto), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), Halle Berry (Storm), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) and Anna Paquin (Rogue).

In previous movies, Wolverine was portrayed as this taciturn monster who was always begging for a fight, but the character is given new layers in the latest ‘Days of Future Past’. 

Read also: Hugh Jackman says ‘vulnerability is important’ 

Jackman said of his character’s toned down and subdued demeanour: “It was Simon’s (Kinberg, scriptwriter) idea. I think it’s brilliant to reverse the whole dynamic from the first movie.

“In this one, I’m the (reluctant) recruiter whereas in ‘X-Men’, he (Charles Xavier) was recruiting me. The story centres around young Charles’ emotional journey, so it was a smart idea to use Wolverine as the same actor to link both time periods. It was a challenge for me as an actor as well as for the character.” 

WIPED IT CLEAN

The movie helps reset the storyline after ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ (2006). 

Jackman said: “In terms of the timeline, there was some sloppiness but (director) Bryan (Singer) found a brilliant way to wipe the slate clean. I had goosebumps when I did the scene at the end of the movie, seeing all the characters come back.” 

Jackman went through a gruelling fitness regime to stay in shape for 'Days of Future Past'. Photo: 20th Century Fox

Marvel/Disney changed the superhero movie game with a brilliant 14-year plan of their cinematic universe, which ties all their movies together. 

The move ensures longevity of the ‘X-Men’ franchise and hopefully, leads to better conceived sequels and spinoffs after ‘Days of Future Past’.

The next instalment, ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, is set to hit cinemas in 2016, while another solo outing for Wolverine is scheduled for 2017.

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ is now showing in cinemas

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X-Men: Days Of Future Past
  • X-Men: Days Of Future Past

    (2014)
  • Rated
    PG13 /
    Genre
    Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Language
    Eng
  • (7 Reviews)