LOS ANGELES — Through five decades, three movies and hundreds of comic books, James “Logan” Howlett has been attempting to sift through the clues and figure out the exact nature of his origin. For nearly three years, “X-Men” fanboys have been doing the same, knowing only that their favorite razor-clawed rebel is getting a spinoff that explains his backstory.
And now, Black Eyed Peas rapper Will.I.Am is offering up some rare clues about his feature-film debut opposite Hugh Jackman’s iconic superhero in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
“I’m a teleporter. … I’m here, I’m there, I’m everywhere. Boom, boom, boom!” Will revealed. “My character’s name is John Wraith. He’s a black Texan. He’s not a cowboy, but his gear suggests that he is. He’s just a badass who’ll whoop your ass.”
Will has been whooping some butt himself in the four months since he landed his first film role, touring the world with the Peas, winning an Emmy last week for his Barack Obama “Yes We Can” video , and even landing a voiceover gig in November’s highly anticipated “Madagascar” sequel. But while he’s never been one to hide his “Wolverine” excitement, he revealed to us that the role cost him a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
“You see that little scar I’ve got on my knuckles?” he asked, holding up his hand. “I’m a newbie when it comes to big action films and stuff. … It was my fight scene. I was real into it, and then I missed my mark, and I punched the camera and broke the lens!
“But that goes to show you,” he grinned. “I ain’t to be messed with, because I break lenses!”
Discussing the scene a bit further, Will revealed that once director Gavin Hood replaced his camera lens, he had the rapper/actor run through the battle quite a few more times. “I missed a couple marks,” he laughed. “They’d say, ‘OK, come in, hit your mark, turn to the left … and, action!’ I missed my mark! ‘All right, take two!’ So I missed my mark a couple of times, then I got the hang out of it: Boom! Pow! It probably took me 50 times, but I got it. It was hard for me, but it was cool and fun at the same time.”
These days, Will is putting the finishing touches on the May 2009 film and enjoying a pair of new friendships. “Hugh Jackman’s the coolest dude,” he marveled. Then, speaking about the villainous Sabretooth, he added: “And Liev Shreiber? That dude’s my homey.
“It was a really good experience,” Will said of the flick, which also stars Ryan Reynolds, Dominic Monaghan, Danny Huston and “Friday Night Lights” star Taylor Kitsch. “It’s my first movie. … And with ‘Madagascar 2,’ I think there has to be an angel or something or my grandma’s prayers guiding that. It’s pretty, pretty dope. And I’m grateful and happy about it all.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
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