In Conversation with Hugh Jackman

Everyone was excited to meet Hugh Jackman and we had heard from other interviewers that he was a really nice guy, When we stepped in he was there standing up and reached out to introduce himself by shaking everyone’s hand. That leaves a strong impression. The both of us then somehow get into talking about relaxing and drinking by the pool and just like that we were laughing.

This is a big guy and I honestly was quite proud that I was the tallest Asian in the room but he is huge I tell you and in a way because he was always smiling, he was a bit of a gentle giant.

POPCulture Online: I suppose let’s break the ice by talking about some funny incidents on set?

HUGH JACKMAN: There was a lot of fun on this movie especially when that original cast gets together. To tell you, Halle (Berry) was very pregnant when we started filming. In fact we were racing against her body clock because of her pregnancy and everytime they would yell “cut” you could hear her unzip the top of her suit and then when it’s “action” she’d breathe in and zip it back up. She was about 3 or 4 months I can’t remember but we were just scraping in there.

Michael (Fassbender) and Nick (Hoult) and Jennifer (Lawrence) and James (McAvoy), those guys just have so much fun! I mean it’s unbelievable what they get away with and how brilliant they are on screen but they just have a good time doing what they do and the movie was just so much fun, everyone had a blast. And so was being in the 70s as well! Good costumes and good hair!

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POPCulture Online: Some of these younger actors probably watched you as Wolverine in the first X-Men movie, was anyone starstruck?

HUGH JACKMAN: Yeah Nick Hoult! The first day we were walking down set and it was his first they on set actually and it was James (McAvoy) and me and he couldn’t get a line and said “I sorry I’m just spinning out here, I used to see you walk down these hallways when I was 8 years old” And I said “Stop right there, no more of this story”

POPCulture Online: Are the claws ever a hassle?

HUGH JACKMAN: I’m totally used to it now. At the end of X-Men 2 we were running from set to catch a plane and we wrapped late and just as I was leaving, someone came up to me. I didn’t realise this but everyone steals things from movies. So this guy with a garbage bag with my X-Men 2 suit in it said there were 10 suits, the other 9 are gone so you should have this and here’s a set of the claws.

I put the claws in my hand luggage and the suit in my bag and of course this small airport in Canada where the security guy had not seen X-Men. I put my bag into the security beeper and he goes, “Come here please” “What’s with the knives”

I’m like, I’ve got no knives then I realised it was my claws. They’re just my claws I said and they put me in a room where I had some explaining to do. But I’ve cut myself, stabbed myself, stabbed other people and really I’m the last person you should trust with any sharp things on the ends of my hands.

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POPCulture Online: Everyone is on this film and with such a huge cast, each with their own reputation, were there any egos among cast members?

HUGH JACKMAN: You would think and actually you would expect there to be but no! It was amazing to me how down to earth and how little ago there is. All the original cast were there and none of us had it and you look at Jennifer Lawrence who was on the front of Time magazine as the most influential person in the world and she couldn’t be more down to earth. It was great, it was really fantastic actually. I was the biggest diva of them all! Haha!

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POPCulture Online: I’m sure it’s super intensive when you’re training for the role but outside of it, what do you do to stay in shape? 

HUGH JACKMAN: I train every morning with a bunch of guys, about 6 of us. I go before the kids get up so that I can get it out of the way and I quite enjoy it. Also I don’t want to be more than 3 or 4 months ready. Realistically, now I probably need about 4 or 5 months to get into Wolverine shape but the longer you take at the older you are, the harder it is.

Will Smith famously said it’s much easier to stay in shape than to get into shape and I totally agree with him! I love food so I would prefer to keep training at a relatively high level and then eat what I want because when I’m doing Wolverine for 2 years I’m very strict about my diet so I’m healthy actually because everything you eat is good for you but mentally I’m like “give me that lasagna” Haha!

By Elliott Danker

X-Men Days of Future Past opens in cinemas 22 May 2014

Images courtesy of 20th Century Fox Singapore

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