Watch: Hugh Jackman is fascinating in his first audition as Wolverine in 1999 for 'X-men'
Hugh Jackman takes his final bow as the X-men outcast Wolverine in Logan, which just hit the theaters last week on 3 March 2017.
No other actor has ever played the role of a superhero for more than two decades. If there is a box-office flop, the actor quits or is killed off. They lose interest or the studio decides that its time for a younger man to take the mantle. (Not in the case of Batman where Ben Affleck took over from Christian Bale though)
But Hugh Jackman has played the role of Wolverine for two decades and made history. He did receive a goodbye Wolverine photoshoot, and a motion poster showing Wolverine’s evolution as the character over the years. The actor has also talked about the possibility of seeing other actors play Wolverine in the future (Remember the Shah Rukh Khan to play Wolverine rumours?).
So while we're gushing about Jackson, here's a video of him first reading as the character, before he got the part that would be the biggest of his career.
The audition tape below was shot during a worldwide casting search for X-Men. Jackman was performing onstage as Curly McLain in a theatre production of Oklahoma! in London, and squeezed in the audition with director Bryan Singer in between performances.
The video, posted on YouTube seven years ago, is an 11 minute clip of Jackman reading parts of several scenes from the original X-Men. Bryan Singer (the director of X-Men) does not appear on camera in the video, but we do hear him giving Jackman notes on the character of Wolverine.
It’s fascinating to see Jackman figuring out how he is going to play Wolverine, and talking about the character’s motivation in scenes that we eventually saw in the 2000 film. He and Singer run through scenes with Rogue and Jean Grey, as well as talking through some of the ways that Wolverine will work on screen. This short video really gives us a fascinating look into the early days of this version of Logan, and how Jackman originally considered playing him.
"He just looked like a young Clint Eastwood," recalls screenwriter David Hayter. Here's the video of the audition in 1999: