Fox’s X-Men: First Class caught quite a few people off-guard when it opened this past May. The stories of the rushed production schedule and reshoots had many thinking that the prequel would be a mediocre popcorn flick at best. Instead, we got a smart, taut, and entertaining period film that turned out to be one of the best superhero movies of the year. Among the film’s many strengths were the nods to the previous entries in the X-Men franchise, including quite possibly one of the greatest cameos of the past decade: Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. The actor turns up for just a few seconds, and delivers just one line, but he gets the biggest laugh of the entire film.
Recently, Steve got the chance to sit down with the actor to talk about his upcoming pic Real Steel. We’ll have the full interview up soon, but Jackman told a great story about how his cameo in the X-Men flick came to be. The scene was filmed at the last minute, and Jackman came up with the final version of his line himself. Hit the jump for the full story.
“I think it was a big debate for them. They brought me out and I know all of those guys from all of the X-Men movies. They said, ‘This is what we are thinking.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, well tell me the idea’ And I was like, “Okay. Is anyone else in the movie?” and they said, ‘No.’ So I said, ‘I’m in.’ So that was that. It was a year between now and when I actually did it. I don’t know if you know the history of it – I was sort of outside of it – but [the production] went on longer [than they planned], they were here, they were going to—all the X-Men movies are the same, I’m used to it. There’s something chaotic about it all. We were going to shoot it in Savannah, and I was doing something else so I was like, ‘Well, if you need me, I’m available. Just give me a call.’ So then Savannah came and went and I never heard anything. I was like, ‘Well obviously they didn’t want that.’ But then I didn’t hear anything for 3 or 4 months. I finally said, ‘Do they want me to do this thing? Was I meant to call them? Was I meant to turn up some day? I don’t understand.’ They finished shooting and I was like, ‘Oh obviously they didn’t want it.’ Then they rang me up and said, ‘Look, we’re doing reshoots, we’re not sure if we want it or not. Are you around?’ So I said, ‘Yeah, I can do it.’ They said, ‘Okay.’ And I never heard anything. Even when I went down there I was generally not sure if that was going to be in the movie. I don’t think they knew. I think they just thought it could be a good moment and we should just try and work it out. So we went down there and did about 8 takes.”
When it came down to delivering the line, Jackman had an idea of his own that he wanted to try out for the last take:
“The line was ‘Fuck off’ and then I said, ‘Matthew, give me one more. I have a feeling.’ So the last one I said, ‘Go fuck yourself’ and Matthew said, ‘I think that’s gonna be the one.’”
From Jackman’s story I think it’s safe to assume that all those rumors of a hectic production schedule were true. But in the end, Vaughn turned out a fantastic movie with one hell of a cameo.