Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine more times than any other actor has played a superhero — a grand total of seven, counting his turn in the upcoming sequel "X-Men: Days of Future Past." But the actor says that he initially got off to an awkward start in the role after he interpreted the behavior of an entirely different animal into his performance.
"I'm going to tell you a very embarrassing story," Jackman told MTV News' Josh Horowitz at the recent press day for "The Wolverine." "When I got there, I had three weeks before filming, and we were in Toronto. Not knowing what a wolverine was, or that it was a real animal, I was going past the IMAX, and I saw this IMAX showing of wolves. I was like, well, a wolverine is a wolf sort of thing, so I went in there, and that was where I got this thing of [facing] down like wolves smelling the ground while I'm looking."
Jackman starting doing his learned wolf moves to give his performance an animalistic edge. But he said he quickly met resistance from his "X-Men" director, Bryan Singer, who wasn't a fan of those wolf traits.
"Bryan Singer said to me at one point: 'It's a little weird physically. But it's interesting,' " he remembered. "And I said, 'Yeah, man, I've been studying wolves and I think if we could bring that to the screen,' and he goes, 'You're not a wolf, man, you're a wolverine!' "
Remarkably, that isn't even the most embarrassing part. "I said, 'Well, there's obviously no wolverine,' " Jackman continued. "And he said, 'No, that's actually an animal. It's small, and there's really no point in studying its movements — it's a more metaphoric idea.'
"I've never been more humiliated in my life, particularly as I spent three weeks, a la drama school, going through wolf movements."
"The Wolverine" opens in theaters nationwide on July 26, 2013.