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Hugh Jackman Curls Almost Cost Him Biggest Role Of Acting Career

Actor Hugh Jackman was recently a guest on The Jimmy Kimmel show and Jimmy asked the fabulously talented actor "how did you wind up playing Wolverine?"

(Image of X-Men Origins Wolverine - 2009 - All Rights Reserved).

Hugh told Jimmy "it was a funny story".  He explained to the talk show host, Scottish actor Dougray Scott was originally picked to play the part of Logan/Wolverine in the first XMen Movie where the character was unveiled.  The film was actually released in the Summer of 2001.

Hugh told Jimmy that Dougray was filming Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible movie and the filming ran over so that Dougray couldn't start work on the XMen film as scheduled.   He was contracted to finish MI first before going on to do the Wolverine character.

Hugh said "they (the MI crew) were running late and he (Dougray) had an injury and they were running late so in the end and our XMen movie started and I finally auditioned about four days after the film (XMen) had begun."  X-Men began shooting in 1999.

Jimmy said "really."  Hugh said "yeah, so I kinda went along there and I actually, that's not true, I auditioned about nine months before, one of those general auditions, but I was doing a musical in London at the time playing Curly for my part (Curly McLain in Oklahoma) so I had a perm in my hair."  Jimmy laughed and said "that's one way to go as Wolverine."

Hugh continued "oh trust me, all bad.  So I put the hat on to do the audition and about halfway through it the casting agent was like 'uh, that was great, can you do one without the hat?  I can't really see Wolverine wearing a baseball cap'  Hugh said "I said OK, alright.  And then I took it off (the hat) and I'd read about two lines when she said 'cut, put the hat!'"

Jimmy said "and who would have guessed it.  This is the fourth movie you've done now."  Hugh said "yeah, four movies, like ten years now (of playing the part he almost didn't get because of his curly hair)."

Note: The original Wolverine appeared in 2000, the second appearance was in 2003 in X2, X-Men:  The Last Stand was in 2006 and the current Wolverine for 2009 is X-Men Origins:  Wolverine.

The host teased (I guess he was teasing) Hugh and said "and you do birthday parties as Wolverine too."  Hugh said "yessss.  I do birthday parties, weddings, whatever you need, Sushi chef, moil, whatever you need".   Jimmy laughed and said "you're very busy."

Jimmy asked Hugh "did you worry about it, because I know a lot of people worry when they play a Superhero that, they worry because this is potentially now what I'm going to be for the rest of my career.  You know, I'm sure Toby Maguire thought about it with Spiderman and all the....."

Hugh said "no, they're all lying.  Every actor thinks that a job will be his last.  I understand that in a way but when you've got a great character, and Wolverine is a great character, I can't say I had a lot of choices at the time, it was the only character I was offered but it turns out it was really a kinda great..."

Jimmy asked "did anyone tell you not to be Wolverine?"  Hugh said "that' know, you've just reminded me, when I went for an audition first off for it and I went and whenever I went for an audition my wife would run through the lines for me and so we had the sides like this (he demonstrated with his hands) and she's running through and she says 'OK.... Wolverine things get anxious and tense and Wolverine's nostrils flare and his claws come out of his hands."  And she's like 'what?'"

Hugh said and "then they had 'snikt.'"  Hugh spelled it out "s-n-i-k-t."  Hugh said his wife said 'oh Hugh this is ridiculous', and she put it down, 'you can't do this.'  Hugh told Jimmy he told his wife "well I don't know, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin,Bryan Singer are all doing it."  She said 'Hugh you can't do it.' Hugh said "to this day the only time she (his wife)has said she's been wrong."

Jimmy Kimmel Loves Wolverine

Jimmy played a clip of the latest Wolverine movie and said at the end of the clip "I love Wolverine, I can't get enough of that stuff."  He asked Hugh "what do you have to do physically to prepare yourself to become Wolverine, besides the sideburns (hair on his face)?"

Woverine's Hair Is All Hugh's

Hugh said "that's all me, the hair.  I have to eat a lot.  Believe it or not."  Jimmy said "a lot?"  Hugh said "you know I train, I train hard (for the part).  There's two things. You're not gonna like it.  You're not gonna like the diet."

Jimmy said "oh really?"  Hugh said "well I work out with this trainer and I train hard and we got together with this bodybuilder and he gave me his diet for preparing for competition.  And basically I was on about 5,000 calories a day.  And you think this is all good, terrific."

Hugh said you eat "basically steamed chicken, steamed vegetables, salad and steamed fish.  No salt, no butter, no nothing.  And I was OK, that's pretty tough, and he said (the bodybuilder) there's one really good thing and I said what's that and he goes at 3:30 in the morning, cause you can't go out night without a meal."

Hugh continued "and I was like OK."  The bodybuilder said 'so at 3:30 in the morning you get to wake up and have egg whites and one piece of wheat toast with no butter.'  Hugh said "and I'm like, what's the really good thing about that?"  The bodybuilder, he goes, 'man, that's the only carbohydrate you get all day.  That piece of toast, you're gonna love it.'  Hugh said "I pictured it as kind of pathetic."

The actor said "I kinda gave up on it.  I did it for a year.  But the egg whites, I gave up on that after about a week, it just seemed too sad. So I said what can I do?"

The bodybuilder said 'just do a protein shake.'  Hugh explained "so I'd make a protein shake and next to my bed was a window sill.  So I'd put it out (the protein shake) on the window sill to keep it cold.  So my alarm would go off at 3:30 in the morning. It used to really annoy my wife. So 3:30 in the morning the alarm would go off, I would barely open my eyes and just fumble for the window and reach outside and grab this thing and down it, from the edge of the bed, I'd down the protein shake, put it back and go back to sleep."

Hugh said "it got worse.  I don't know if you've been on a high protein diet or not..." Jimmy said "Well I'm on a high everything diet."

Hugh said "there's some pretty bad side effects.  Like particularly when you're sleeping with your partner.  So 3:30 was the first alarm clock and every 15 minutes after that would be the subsequent ones."  Hugh made a waving sign with his hands and said Whewwwwww"

Obviously Hugh had to make some sacrifices to transform his body into the buff bod of Wolverine.  And of course, so did his wife who had to endure the effects of the protein shake.

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