|Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men 3; (above) Hugh with co-star Halle Berry at the Cannes premiere
Are you pleased with X-Men: The Last Stand'
I think it's going to be great. I'd been involved with the script of X-Men for 18 months and I knew the character. I figured it was going to be a relatively easy shoot and it actually proved to be that. I mean, these movies are wall-to-wall characters so you are not wall-to-wall every day. You go through periods but you get a little bit of time off.
Was it a problem getting the cast back together again'
It wasn't a problem. It was a problem getting Bryan Singer but he fell out and that was a bit of a pothole and we had Matthew (Vaughn) for a while. And looking back now there were so many times when this movie could have gone disastrously wrong in terms of the process of getting it made. But when they came up with the story idea of this cure (for the mutants), I immediately thought that it was brilliant because it cuts into everything that X-Men is about.
So the mutants can cure themselves if they choose to'
Yes, the question is, if you had the opportunity to get rid of it, would you do it' This movie is all about yes they are superheroes, but all of them are haunted by it. And the ramifications and the themes, you know, if you were gay and you had the opportunity not to be, or if you were Jewish or any minority or anything that is discriminated against, would you take it' And there's not a person who wouldn't think twice about it no matter how strident they were and ultimately that's the message. It's obviously 'no, be yourself, whatever that is.' But it makes for a fascinating story and I thought that idea was brilliant. And the cast all came back ' which was great. I think they all realised that the script was the best of the three.
Did you enjoy being re-united with the regulars'
Oh yeah. We were filming and I remember saying to Patrick (Stewart) after a scene, 'that's the best work we've done together' and it was all down to the writing, just fantastic. We had great scenes with things in our characters' relationship that had never been explored before. And likewise with Halle (Berry), best stuff we have ever done and a scene with Anna Paquin, who plays Rogue, we did this fantastic stuff which kind of rounds out that relationship.
Where do you get that Wolverine rage'
I'm the youngest of five kids. My oldest brother Ralph drove me nuts (laughs). I don't mind saying this publicly, but there were times when I thought, 'I think I'm going to have to kill him, because if I just knock him out, he'll wake up and kill me...' I remember the rage at times. And he was stronger than me. Up until about the age of 11, unbelievable rage and I used to take it out on the sports field, playing rugby. Then you kind of grow up and become civilised and then you get a role like this and you think, 'it's all still there!'
How important has Wolverine been to your career'
I mean, I love this character and I'm proud of that role and it is without doubt the foundation of my career. Many doors opened for me as a result of paying him. I love playing him so much that I want to do another movie. I just love playing this character and I love playing him. I think he is a great screen hero. I watched those movies and thought, 'he's a cool guy!' And when I do, it's a little bit out of body because I go 'that is so not me.' It is, obviously, but sometimes I can't remember how I did it. But it's so much fun to play and I love the cast I'm working with.
So you will do a Wolverine movie'
Yes. I think he is an interesting enough character and mysterious enough that there's a lot still to be found out about him. And we're going for it; we're up to the second draft now. We're coming up with some great stuff and I'm really excited about it.