Hugh Jackman has been nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for his current box office hit ‘The Greatest Showman’, which is also up for Best Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy and Best Original Song for ‘This Is Me’. But to the most people, Jackman will always be best known as Wolverine from various ‘X-Men’ movies and three solo films, including this year’s acclaimed swansong ‘Logan’. Back when he was promoting ‘Logan’, Jackman discussed his decision to walk away from his venerable role, citing an unexpected inspiration– Jerry Seinfeld.
While promoting ‘The Greatest Showman’, Jackman appeared on Variety’s ‘Actors on Actors’ hosted by Willem Dafoe and delved further into this exchange and how it shaped the ‘Logan’ we got:
“What happened was I had a dinner with Jerry Seinfeld, who’s a friend of mine. I was asking him about the end of the series. I said, ‘How did you decide?’ And, long story, he kind of said, ‘Look, I’ve always believed, creatively, you should never spend everything… because it’s almost Herculean to start up again. You should always have something in the tank. Leave the party before it gets too late kind of theory. And then somehow it spurs you into the next thing.
“As he was talking, I went home and I said to [my wife] Deb on my way home in a cab… ‘This is the last one.’ She goes, ‘What?’ I said, ‘I just know this is the last one.’
“I woke up the next morning with this very strong idea, which [Logan director] Jim Mangold and I had been working on, of treating it not like a comic book movie in any way, treating him not like a superhero but as a human being who’s lived a life of violence and let’s make a movie about the ramifications of violence,” he explained. “I was thinking The Wrestler. I was thinking Unforgiven… The moment I’d had that thought I was supercharged, super excited, absolutely sure I’d never play it again and very nervous.”
With Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, it’s highly unlikely that we’d get another Jackman-fronted ‘Wolverine’ or ‘X-Men’ movie anyway. It’s serendipitous that Jackman came to the decision to leave on his own and that he and Mangold were able to craft such a loving farewell all on their own.
Do you think Jackman could have done even more with Wolverine? Or are you happy with how the series ended?