Now that Logan, Hugh Jackman’s final film as Wolverine, is a bonafide success, it’s time for some nostalgia. The actor’s audition tape for the first X-Men movie from 1999 is doing the rounds online once again.
Before he was cast in the role that would define his career, Jackman was a musical theatre actor with negligible experience in movies. He wasn’t even the first choice as Wolverine, but when original actor Dougray Scott was injured on the sets of Mission Impossible 2, Jackman was brought on board the first X-Men film, which was already two weeks into production at the time.
This audition tape was shot in 1999 during a worldwide search for an actor to play the role. Jackman was performing on stage in London, and met director Bryan Singer in between performances.
In an interview with Heat Vision, X-Men screenwriter David Hayter added insight into Jackman’s casting. “We flew him out and while we were shooting the Senate scene with Jean Grey in the Toronto City Hall, we set up the audition area in the back, where Hugh did the truck scene with Rogue,” he said.
“There was just one moment where Hugh looked toward Rogue, right in the camera, and he just looked like a young Clint Eastwood and that eyebrow went up. I remember that moment — and all three of us looked and said, ‘That’s pretty good.’ So he finishes the audition and Bryan was standing right next to him. Bryan walks up to him and says, ‘So you want the job?’ and Hugh goes, ‘Yeah mate’ and shakes his hands and changed all of our lives.”
Jackman would go on to play the iconic mutant in nine films, including three solo adventures across 17 years.
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