One of the most pleasant surprises from this past summer was Hugh Jackman's extremely short, but very memorable cameo as Wolverine in Matthew Vaughn's 'X-Men: First Class.' For those who haven't seen the film (out on DVD now), Jackman's Wolverine is approached by a young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (the future Magneto, played by Michael Fassbender) about possibly joining an early incarnation of the X-Men, and let's just say he isn't too enthusiastic about the idea. Moviefone spoke to Jackman over the weekend about his upcoming role in 'Real Steel,' and he shared with us the full story about that very secretive 'First Class' cameo... and why it almost never happened.
"Basically I was asked a long time ago if I would do a cameo. Way before shooting happened," Jackman told Moviefone. "And I said, 'Well, pitch me the idea.' They pitched me the idea and I remember saying, 'Does anyone else swear in the movie?' They said, 'no,' and I said, 'I'm in.' [laughs] It sounded perfect to me. The actual line they used in the end, 'go f-ck yourself,' was a bit of an ad-lib. The line was originally 'f-ck off.' We did about eight takes and I said, 'Matthew, let me do just one more.'"
Not that Jackman was convinced he would actually appear in the film product. "Really, what happened was I did not know it was going to happen myself. I was getting asked all of the time if I'm in the movie. Like, I think they thought Wolverine was going to be a big character in it and I just kept basically lying. Well, no, I would say 'no' to that because no one really suspected a cameo. And I, actually, for a while there, thought it wasn't going to happen because they were actually shooting and they asked me to go down to... where were they shooting? Somewhere down south.... Savanna! But that came and went and I wasn't used. So I said, 'OK, they've decided against it.'"
"Then all of a sudden they're doing reshoots and they were like, 'We honestly don't know if it's going to fit in the film. We don't know if we're going to use it in the film or not, but we love the idea, so can we just do it?' So I said, 'Yeah, sure.' So I was brought in; I've never been more secretive – even the hotel I was staying at was under an assumed name. I came in, it was shot on the Fox lot, so there was no access to the street. I came in for two hours, I shot it and they managed to keep it a secret. But, to be honest, even when I shot it, I wasn't sure if it was going to be in the movie or not. So I think they just decided in editing that this would be a cool moment, so they put it in. But I was really glad to have done it! It was really fun to get out there and it was the easiest line learning I had in my life."
And with a whole new cast, was Fox tempted to tease Wolverine's appearance in the advertising?
"I remember that decision, actually. Yeah, they did say to me that it was very, very tempting, but it would be the wrong thing to do for the film. But from a marketing point of view, they were tempted. It's one of those things where I think they thought this was better. And I have to take my hat off to Fox, that's one of those decisions where this is better for the film. It may not be as good for the box-office, but it's better for the film."
Check back next week for the full Jackman interview in which he discusses 'Real Steel' and his new Wolverine movie.
Photo: 20th Century Fox
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