Hugh Jackman Talks to Collider About ‘The Wolverine’

Today, the press embargo was lifted for journalists who were lucky enough to visit Hugh Jackman and The Wolverine set last year. There have been numerous websites posting their experiences on the set, including talking to the key players in the film like director James Mangold, producer Hutch Parker, Svetlana Khodchenkova (Viper), and Hugh himself. Check out an excerpt from an interview he did with Collider in which he talks about all things Wolverine. Lots of great quotes and insight!

You are Wolverine. Look at the Hulk, that’s been recast three times. But even in X-Men: First Class, you had one line and people were saying it was the greatest line in the film. What makes you Wolverine?
Well, first of all, you always look at the pedigree of anything and the character itself in the comic book series is incredibly popular, so I could never take sole credit for any of that. I’m really pleased the fans have similarly embraced me in the part because I love playing the part. I never thought my run would last this long. To be a guy who can’t age, obviously there is a shelf life for playing this role, so I love it. I’ve always found it fascinating and slightly, I’ll admit, frustrating that I feel we’ve never really delivered what I would say is the core of the character. And I think in this story, you get to see the ultimate Wolverine. You get to see who he really is. You definitely see him at his most vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. As we were saying before, we had the preparation time so we were really in great shape, and I may be going off the question a little bit, I’m sorry, I feel really blessed in a way to have had the opportunity. I know a lot of the Wolverine fans. I’ve met many of them. They’ve told me exactly what they think of the movie, every scene, whatever. Lucky for me so far, there hasn’t been major disappointment because I’m pretty sure I’d get spat on in the street. That’s the level of passion involved. So I’m happy.

Talking about who he is, on one level, the claws are very literal, but on another they express an idea. What are they? What’s the metaphor?
There’s a number of things in play here. One of them is the human-animal tussle that’s going on in him. Which, on a far smaller scale, we all have, even on a day-to-day basis. It’s the chaos-control theory. The claws are an embodiment of the animalistic side. They come out generally with rage, that internal rage. Wolverine’s a character who’s at war with himself, as much as anything. In a way you could say his greatest enemy is himself. In this movie, you definitely see him at his lowest point. He’s without purpose. He’s without a reason in the beginning. Through the samurai story and through being in this foreign land, he’s fired to embrace who he is — or not. I don’t want to give that away. But you’re right, Wolverine hasn’t got the most spectacular of all the X-Men. He can’t fly, he can’t jump, he can’t shoot laser beams. He’s got a healing ability, which is fantastic, and he has these claws. I think his greatest weapon is who he is inside regardless of… If you took away all their powers, I’m pretty sure of all the X-Men, Wolverine is the one you don’t want to piss off. He’s the one you want on your side and definitely not against you because he won’t stop until he’s dead — or you’re dead.