NEW YORK – After 17 years playing Wolverine, actor Hugh Jackman is ready to retire the claws with the upcoming R-rated flick “Logan.” He tells Fox News he doesn’t think he could have made this film if he didn’t know going in to it that it was his last as Wolverine. “Logan” hits theaters on March 3.
Fox News: Why was it so important for this story to be told as a stand-alone film, rather than as part of an “X-Men” film?
Hugh Jackman: I don't think I could have made this movie if I hadn't made the choice that it was my last time. When you play a character for 17 years, and I knew in my heart this was the right time, then instantly I was very excited about what we could do but also very protective. This is very personal, and the stakes were super high for me. When you try to make the definitive movie about a character, for me, I think what’s always defined him or what makes him really cool and bad… what people love about him – is actually his humanity more than his superhero abilities.
Yes, he can heal. Yes, he's got claws. All that's tough, but it's more the fact that he's the one guy you don't want to piss off and he's the one guy you want on your team. Even if he's not a great team member you definitely don't want him on the other team… So really for all the cool stuff I wanted to actually make a film about … what happens to that person. What happens to that great soldier, warrior, when they come back from war? What is that life like? What is like to live? … And he's done. He's done with life. He's like “I’m out.”
Fox News: Was the filming process different for this movie because you knew it would be your last as Wolverine?
Jackman: Yeah, and I was really tired doing this one. I mean, training, not sleeping, we really left everything on the table. So it was exhausting, but knowing it's your last one it’s like “There's just no way I'm not going to leave it all out there.” But … as we were filming near the end there was a great sense of calm of, peace I suppose. That was when I knew I had made the right choice. Because you don't really know until you're getting to the very end.
Fox News: What will you miss about this character and what have you learned from playing Logan this many years?
Jackman: What will I miss about him? You know, steamed chicken ... 3:30 a.m. workouts … no (laughs). I'm not going to say the fans because I know that's like a family that I'm never going to be away from. I know they will talk to me and still complain to me about things they like and [do] not like, and I kind of love that. They are very open. But when I saw the film I just thought “I love that character. I love playing it but I love it more than ever.” It's like being in a 17-year marriage where you love that partner more after 17 years than you did at the beginning. That's how I feel. So I can't say I'm going to miss it because that's with me forever. It may be hard for me to watch whoever plays it next. I don't know but… when you see this movie the successor may already be there, right?