Hugh Jackman thought wolverines were made up for “X-Men” comics.
“Embarrassingly, I didn’t know what a wolverine was, I’d never heard of such an animal,” he admitted on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Monday night. “I presumed it was a made up name for the comic book. I’d never read an ‘X-Men’ comic, I’d never seen a wolverine. We don’t have them in our zoos.”
Jackman, who played the iconic mutant Wolverine from 2000-2017, assumed that his character was derived from wolves and studied them intently before the first movie.
“I watched some documentaries, there was a big IMAX movie at the time, I went twice to go and see it,” the 50-year-old actor explained. “I put in the hours and I turned up on set for a fight rehearsal and I was just incorporating some of that, you know, wolves always have their nose to the ground, it’s always looking through their eyes because they’re smelling you and the director goes, ‘What are you doing, man, with the body?’ I said, ‘I was doing some work on the wolves, blah, blah, blah’ and he goes, ‘Wolves? Why wolves? You’re playing a wolverine.’ I go, ‘That’s not an animal’ and he goes, ‘Yeah it is, go to the zoo.’ It was a humiliating moment and three weeks of wasted research.”
Jackman also remembered Marvel co-creator Stan Lee, who passed away at age 95 on Monday.
“I remember Stan as a true gentleman who had this glint in his eye,” he told Colbert. “He’s a creative genius. He thought outside the box. He created a whole universe that changed the lives of many people, mine included.”