A/V Room









X-Men 2 - Hugh Jackman Q&A

Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. How fit did you have to be to cope with the action demands of the role?
I spent three months, beforehand, doing the training. I was here, in fact, with a guy called Josh, who trained Angelina Jolie.
Then, and I like to give these guys a plug, because they are nutritionalists who work with the English rugby team who've had a spectacular rise since they began... they gave me this nutrition course which was brutal, you know. I think they were afraid that an Australian's idea of dieting was only having a half a dozen beers a day!
All of a sudden it was no alcohol, no bread, no sugar, it was brutal. But, still, no one's feeling sorry for me, I know. What I don't understand is, you have this $50 million CGI budget and none of it goes on the bloody body! It's like 'get to that gum before...'; but what about just chucking me a couple of grand of the CGI. That's all I need.

Q. Did anything kind of funny/peculiar happen on set that you look back fondly on, and do you think Wolverine will ever find any lasting love and, if he does, what kind of mutant babe will he go for?
My sister came to the set one day and as I'm one of six children, everyone has a different opinion of who I look like. But as soon as she came on set - she's a triathlete, so she was muscular - everyone was saying, 'my God, you look like your sister'.
So I said to her, 'tell you what, Sonia, why don't you go and put on my double's wig?' So she went off into the make-up trailer and my make-up artist came, and said 'you've got to come, you've got to come'.
It wasn't only the wig, they'd put on the mutton chops as well, and the costume. And instead of laughing hysterically, I was sick. It was disturbing. It was me. I thought I'd spent these two films kind of creating a this very macho, kind of very vital and unique character, and there was my sister, who pulled it off just like that.
So, we then snuck her onto the set, while we were shooting the scene in the hallway where the ice wall appears. The cameras were there, but the monitors (Bryan Singer and Tom Alexander), and everybody was on the other side, including the writers. I did two takes and on the third take, I put my sister there to test it out.
Well, 45 seconds went by, after action, and we were rolling, and Bryan yells out, 'Hugh line, Hugh line!'. I'm in hysterics, and the whole camera crew are laughing, and then I walk into the shot, put my hand on my sister's shoulder and say, 'I'll take over from here sis', and all I hear is 'Oh my God, Oh my God'. Bryan had no idea, and he said, 'she was making some really interesting decisions...'
He could find love. He has a go in this one, which is good. He makes a step forward. In the first film, you get the idea that he is a guy who is probably particularly nervous, a commitment-phobe, and he manages to cross that line of, sort of, by putting it out there and, in a way, becoming the aggressor in the relationship. So that's a big step forward.
But I think it's possible, although I have the feeling it's going to be someone very patient and, if I know Wolverine's sexual taste, probably someone a little bit racy.

Q. We've been hearing about the X-Men musical while on-set. And bearing in mind you're musical background, what was filming like?
Sir Ian:
I actually saw him [Hugh] in Oklahoma and he was wonderful. So, if ever we were having a hard time, it was always me who came up and said, 'please, would you sing?'
Hugh: We used to have soirees every Saturday night. And our dialect coach plays a wonderful piano, so we'd have sing-alongs every Saturday night....
Sir Ian: It's difficult to forget that he's not really a song and dance man. That's just something that he can do. And that's not the whole focus of his career.
Hugh: Yes, I'm about to go on Broadway with a new Australian msucial. It's not entirely new, it's a new version of a musical that was a big hit there, called 'The Boy From Oz', about the life of Peter Allen, who is not hugely known here; although he did tour here with Judy Garland. He then married Liza Minelli and had a huge career and an amazing life in New York, so it's about his lifestory and it opens in October.

Q. Would you like to bring that over here?
I'd love to bring that over here, but if you asked almost anyone in this room, they wouldn't know who Peter was, whereas in New York, there's a big following for Peter. So, if it's successful in America, then you've got a chance of bringing it over here.

Q. How do you enjoy going to premieres as big as tonight's is going to be?
I don't think I've ever been to one as big as this. I didn't come to the last one. I enjoy it, because having done a little bit of theatre, there's so much riding upon an opening night, in terms of the success or failure, financially, of the show and your career. But what have we got to do?
You know, the job is done, the film's cut and all you you've got to do is go along there, walk down the red carpet, say hello to a few people, put on a frock and have a few drinks. It's kind of hard to fear... it's such a luxury.

Q. You've talked before about the fact that you look like Clint Eastwood. I was wondering whether you had ever studied him, either while growing up, or during your career?
Bryan asked me to watch Mel Gibson in Mad Max, as in one of those films he has about 11 lines, and his performance is astonishing, and the early Dirty Harry films. I also then watched the early Sergio Leone films, because I think the archetype that Wolverine is, they are some of the best examples of that.
It frightened me, because I had never once in my life heard that I looked like Clint Eastwood, and I think most people today would say that they don't get it, but somehow with that character, and on film, I could see what they were talking about.
Secretly, what I was frightened of, was that I might of just copied him, because I was watching those damn movies so much. I didn't mean to, I can honestly say that.
I did meet him, once, at a huge convention in America, and all the stars had trotted out and sat on a huge table. There were 5,000 people out there.
And so, I looked down on the floor and I was standing at my name place, and there was Clint Eastwood in front. So for about 10 minutes, I was saying to myself 'oh my God, it's Clint Eastwood'.
And he turned up just before he had to go on, and I got up the courage and said, 'Clint', - and he turned round, but didn't say anything - and I said, 'my name's Hugh Jackman', and he shook my hand and I said, 'look, I've got to tell you, quite a few people have said to me that, perhaps, we look alike in some films', and he goes, [pause] 'yeah'. So I kind of went 'yeah, good to meet you', and he turned around and I never said another word to him; he couldn't have cared less! You know, 'whatever, kid!'.



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