Perhaps the most surprising thing about [movieperson id="234610"]Hugh Jackman[/movieperson]'s conversation Monday with the Los Angeles Times regarding "The Wolverine." is the mere fact that the actor stopped stuffing his face long enough to actually have a conversation.
Jackman is in full-on bulk-up mode as he prepares to play Wolverine for the fourth time on the big screen, sucking down 6,000 calories a day and practically living in the weight room. He's already tipping the scales at 210 pounds, up from the 190 he weighed for 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," and that's exactly the way director Darren Aronofsky wants him for "The Wolverine."
"Darren said with the last one, 'Hey, you looked great, but you're so tall that in those long shots you looked kind of like Clint Eastwood, and that's not Wolverine,' " Jackman said. "He said that Wolverine, in the comics, is powerful, stocky, you know, he's short and thick. So he said, 'I want you to go there, get bigger.' "
As Jackman has stated in the past, he views Wolverine as resembling Mike Tyson in his early years. "Sometimes, he was a full foot shorter than his opponents and bent over [with this] massive build. There's real power," the Australian actor said. "That's what I'm going for, and if I have a massive heart attack first, well, you tell everyone what I was going for."
"Wolverine" will mark Aronofsky's first foray into superhero territory after a career helming films more suited to an art house, but Jackman said he's tried in the past to entice the director into action-oriented projects. "I worked with him before [on 'The Fountain'], and I knew as soon as I met him that he should be doing movies like this," Jackman said. "He's been looking a long time, and I've asked him to do other ones, and this time it worked out."
Which films Jackman tried to recruit him for — "X-Men: Origins"? "Real Steel"? — remained unstated in the Times story, but that's a tantalizing nugget of information. We look forward to some insight on that front; "The Wolverine" is likely targeting a 2012 release date, so we'll have ample opportunity in the future. For now, Jackman is focused on fashioning a Tyson-like body for himself and is geeking out about Aronofsky's plans for the film.
"I love his gung-ho attitude toward it and great vision," Jackman said. "Straight off, it's not a sequel, it's a standalone, and I think we're going to make one that people will describe as the best of the bunch. ... I'm as excited as anybody to see what we come up with. I know we're going to be met with huge expectations."
Check out everything we've got on "The Wolverine."