He is known for his role as the mutant hero in the film, Wolverine. But in India, Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman is also known as the face of an electronics brand, and as the star who shared the stage with PM Narendra Modi at a function in New York, last year. The 46-year-old spoke to us about his India connect and more, in a telephonic interview. Excerpts...
You seem to have a special connection with India. How would you define it?
I’m fascinated by the country. I am intrigued by India’s history and culture. I find India inspiring and exciting. Unfortunately, I have been there for just five days. I would love to be back in India to spend more time.
Last year you met PM Modi in New York. What was it like?
I heard his speech and figured that people loved him. I liked his style and thought the commitments he made were terrific. He even quoted Star Wars in his speech and I thought that was cool. He looks like someone who is enjoying himself. He seems to be having fun.
You are a Sachin Tendulkar fan. What do you think makes him such an iconic name?
Tendulkar, like Don Bradman, has been the greatest player that the game has seen. It’s that sense of being a gentleman at all times that makes him who he is. I am inspired by Sachin in many ways.
Inspired in what sense?
I was told a story by an Australian player who played with him during IPL. One day they got into the team bus after a match, and there was a huge crowd cheering their names, especially Sachin’s. So, this player, just closed Sachin’s curtain in a gesture to say, ‘I’ll give you a break’, and blocked out the fans. Sachin pulled the curtain back and waved at the crowd. He then turned around and told him, ‘Never forget that we are here because of them (fans).’ That inspires me.
Jackman has been playing the role of Wolverine, aka Logan, for over 15 years now. The 46-year-old has appeared in five X-Men movies and two standalone movies as the fictional superhero and is slated to make his final appearance, in the third installment of the Wolverine franchise.
In a recent interview, Jackman, who will soon be seen in a film titled Pan, said that he would like to see British actor Tom Hardy replacing him as the next Wolverine.
When we asked him the reason for his choice, Jackman explained that he would like the casting directors to choose a younger Wolverine. “It’s not in my hands to decide who they cast next. Tom Hardy was just the first name that came to my mind, when I was asked the question. But, having said that, it will definitely be interesting to see who will become the next Wolverine, if they decide to continue with this story,” he said, adding, “I always thought that if someone was to cast another actor as Wolverine, they should look for a younger Wolverine, you know. I was 31 years old when I was cast in the role for the first time, so it will be interesting to explore Wolverine in his 20s.”
Jackman adds that getting over the role will not be difficult for him. “I am not that type of a guy who will say, ‘Oh only I should have played this character’,” he says.