Hugh Jackman will (presumably) make his final appearance as Wolverine in the film Logan this March and given that the actor has been playing the character for more than sixteen years at this point, it’s sure to be an emotional sendoff for the fan-favorite X-Men character.
Still, while Jackman’s performance has pretty much become synonymous with the character at this point — it’s difficult to even imagine anyone replacing him right now — he didn’t always have a handle on the character. In fact, Jackman admits in a new interview with E! Online that he doesn’t think he was all that good in the first X-Men (2000).
“I was kind of struggling, to be honest. It was the first movie I had ever done in America. I was pretty tight. I was nervous. I was average, to be honest, at best. No one was saying anything and I sort of thought I was getting away with it, but I wasn’t.”
As it turns out, Jackman wasn’t the only one who noticed his stilted performance, as studio executive Tom Rothman actually had to have a sit down with the actor at one point.
“He told me that he believed in me, that from the moment he’d seen my tape he had a gut feeling I was the guy, but watching my dailies was like watching someone put a lampshade over a light.”
Ironically, Jackman’s performance has consistently been one of the most reliable strengths of the X-Men movie franchise, which has had its share of ups and downs over the years. With Jackman’s stabilizing presence about to leave the franchise for good, it will be interesting to see how X-Men soldiers on without its MVP.
Logan hits theaters March 3, 2017.