Hugh Jackman on his time as Wolverine and why he called time on the beloved character
Chatting after his ninth and final stint as the clawed superhero in the gritty, intense chapter, Logan, Hugh Jackman reflects on his 17-year odyssey and why the time has come for them to go their separate ways.
How did you know this was the right time to say goodbye?
What I liken it to is asking my wife to marry me. You're terrified of doing it, terrified of the response but as soon as you do it, you know in your heart it's the right thing and nothing has ever felt more right. I had the same feeling shooting the last scene with Logan. I'm happy I'm done. And I mean that in the best possible way, I'm happy that I'm done because I've arrived at a place where mine and Logan's paths are meant to veer in different directions and it's time. It's been 17 years, it's been nine films, it's the right time. It never felt right before when I had considered walking away, it felt off then.
Now, in my gut, I know it's the right move for both of us. And I know it's right because this movie, to me is perfect. I wanted my last to be perfect. And it's perfect. I'm like, it's a calming 'phew', to feel this way because there was every possibility that I would have very opposing, conflicting emotions of poignancy and bittersweet pining. None of that was there. I never knew how I was going to feel on the last day of filming, I was worried about that.
Logan, I love him more than any other character I've ever done, he's a part of me. I know I will, for the rest of my life, get stopped by fans to talk about Logan and Wolverine, so he'll always be there. When they recast, which is an inevitability, I'll get asked about that, I'll get asked about new movies, so in a way, Logan will never leave my side. But now, I'm looking to the next chapter without him. I'm looking forward to the schedule opening up. I know there will be more challenges to sink my teeth into.
But you might come back, right?
No, never. Everyone always says, never say never. I'm saying never. It's a beautiful movie, for a beautiful story. To do more would throw everything out of whack, and I don't want to sully this journey and sully this, my love letter, my legacy to the fans. And that's made me more excited for this film than any of the others, if I'm honest. Sounds controversial but it's true.
Sure you won't miss the intense work outs?
I actually think Logan has prolonged my life expectancy because I've been working out like a maniac for seventeen years. I've eaten pretty well, clean as they call it now, I've been doing that for seventeen years. My waistline should be twice the size it is now, if it wasn’t for him. So I'm eternally grateful for that. And it's sort of ingrained, so instead of going to the gym for maybe two hours, I'll go for twenty minutes. I'll work out like a normal person now, I'll eat like a normal person.
What was the first thing you went for after the last scene?
Bread. And beer. At the same time, down the hatch. Heaven!
You recently had another bout of skin cancer, which is rather unfortunate.
Unfortunately, it's something that I have a genetic predisposition to. I have English fair skin and it's my fifth time, it's becoming routine. It's pretty common in Australia. And all I can do is be vigilant, look for the signs, look for any discolouration, and change in shape. That's all any of us can do and if you feel unsure or concerned, get yourself to the doctor. That's they're job. Vigilance is key and that's all I can do for myself, that's all any of us can do for ourselves. With skin cancer, all it takes is one sunburn and it can form 25 years later. All it takes is one time, which is very jarring statistics. So look after yourself, get checked regularly, it’s all you can do and it is effective.
You've got PT Barnum coming up next, and your co-star Michelle Williams said it was the greatest, happiest experience of her career. Would you echo those sentiments?
I couldn't agree with her more, there's an overarching sense of joy on that set which comes from the amazing cast, Michelle, Zac, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, from the fact that this project, I thought would never see the light of day. It seemed to languish in limbo for a decade so there's the joy of seeing it all finally come together. And I guess, I really enjoyed getting to sing and dance after shooting Logan, it was so different and perfectly crafted to throw myself into.
Logan is currently showing on your in-flight entertainment system.