Hugh Jackman was nearly fired during X-Men, and now he's opening up about that experience. While it is difficult to imagine anyone else playing Wolverine in Fox's X-Men franchise, Jackman was far from the obvious choice to take the part. At the time, he had only done a few small films and TV shows and his 6'2" height was a stark contrast to Wolverine's usual build. But, Jackman was cast as Wolverine after Dougray Scott exited the film due to the filming schedule of Mission: Impossible II.
Once Jackman did get the role of a lifetime, he immediately was thrown into production. The first X-Men, directed by Bryan Singer, proved to be the start of an incredible 17-year run for him as the Marvel hero. He starred in all three films of the first trilogy and became the biggest star of them, which then gave Fox confidence to make solo movies, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine. He was then reintegrated into the new main series by starring in X-Men: Days of Future Past and with a small role in X-Men: Apocalypse. He's officially hung up the adamantium claws now, but Jackman's time in the role was nearly cut very short.
Jackman recently spoke to Daily Mail and the UK outlet asked him about his early experience with Wolverine, and how he nearly was fired from X-Men. As Jackman recalls, it was a difficult time for him at that stage of his career, but his wife provided him some advice that helped change his mindset and may have saved his job.
I was told that things weren't really working out as they hoped. I was about to get fired from my first Hollywood movie - the biggest of my career. I was angry, I went home to my wife and I complained. I was whinging an Olympic level of whinging to Deb, my wife, and moaning about this person and that person. She listened to me very patiently for about an hour and finally, she just said, "Listen, I think you have just got to trust yourself. You are worrying way too much about what everything else is thinking. Just go back to the character, focus on that, trust your instinct... you've got this."
Since Jackman doesn't get into the specifics of what nearly got him fired from X-Men, it is unclear why he wasn't working with the rest of the film. It could've been his inexperience at that point in his career, but that's just one possibility. Thankfully, his wife was able to help him trust his ability as an actor and his instinct for what it takes to bring Wolverine to life. It's safe to say that whatever Jackman changed worked, as he has become synonymous with Wolverine on the big screen. He wouldn't have set a Guinness World Record without doing so.
As great as Jackman's Wolverine was, it may only be a few years from now before another actor takes on the role. Marvel Studios now has the ability to use the character after Disney acquired Fox's film and TV assets and it would be shocking if they didn't give the Marvel Cinematic Universe a Wolverine of their own at some point. It likely won't happen too soon, but a recasting of Wolverine will happen eventually. Whoever takes on the role will undoubtedly be compared to Jackman and his debut in X-Men, but they can be comforted knowing that even he was nearly fired in his first appearance.
Source: Daily Mail
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020