The Daily Record:
How Hugh Jackman
Passed Up Role of 007

The Daily Record

May 19 2006

X-Men's Hugh tells how he was approached about being new 007

By Rick Fulton

HUGH JACKMAN has revealed the James Bond movie-makers wanted him to sign
up for 007 ... but he wouldn't until he'd seen a script.

So one of the biggest parts in Hollywood went to Daniel Craig, who was not a
popular choice with every Bond fan.

Aussie Hugh, 37, who stars in the X-Men movies as Wolverine, admitted: "They rang
my agent to find out availability and interest.

"I said: 'Can I have a look at the script? Who is directing it?'

"They said: 'Just sign on.'

"I was like, 'No'.

"They didn't offer it to me. I don't want to be on record as saying I was offered it
because that's not true."

Not that Hugh needs the profile. While Daniel was hardly a household name when
he was chosen as the new Bond, Hugh is one of Hollywood's top action stars.

He's back as Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand and will also star in his own
spin-off movie, Wolverine, which is due for release next year.

Hugh is also in the eagerly awaited The Fountain with Oscar winner Rachel Weisz,
which spans 1000 years and three parallel stories.

He also stars alongside Scarlett Johansson in Woody Allen's Scoop.

And he plays a magician alongside Batman star Christian Bale in action fantasy The

With Daredevil spin-off Elektra and Halle Berry's Catwoman bombing at the
box-office, you'd think Hugh would be nervous about striking out with Wolverine on
his own.

But he said: "I am in a fortunate position where I don't have to do things for money.
"So I just do things I really want to do. I really want to do Wolverine and I think there
is a movie in it. I think there is enough about that character to do a full film. I think
the fans will love it. I am not scared of it."

However, Hugh admits his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, told him not to do the first
X-Men movie after she read the script.

The actor, who has two adopted children, Oscar, five, and 10-monthold Ava, said: "I
remember my wife reading the script. It said Wolverine's claws come out ... snikt,

"She said: 'You can't do this. You are working at the Royal National Theatre.' I said I
didn't know much about it but I knew Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin
and director Bryan Singer. This was pedigree or they wouldn't sign on.

"So I signed on. Even at the end of filming, the thinking was get another movie
before it comes out because this will go nowhere."

Hugh landed the role of Wolverine after the first choice, Scots actor Dougray Scott,
had to pull out because he was shooting Mission: Impossible II and it had run over.
The Aussie admits he's embarrassed that Wolverine made him an A-list star. But
Dougray was fine about how the part had catapulted him to worldwide fame. "I
didn't have the guts to say thank-you," said Hugh. "I kind of apologised."

Hugh revealed he listened to heavy metal music to get himself into a Wolverine kind
of mood.

He laughed: "I start the day at 5.00am with driving, angry music while I'm working
out. I like Godsmack and Metallica and it really helps me. If I work out like I'm in
character, I can lift 50 per cent more."

But it's not only music that helps him connect with Wolverine's rage.

The youngest of five children, he admits his eldest brother Ralph drove him mad.
"There were times when I thought I was going to have to kill him because if I just
knocked him out, he would wake up and kill me," said Hugh. "Up until about the age
of 11, I had unbelievable rage and I took it out playing rugby.

"I would get in trouble a lot. My hero was French international Jean Pierre Rives. If
you remember those images of him with blood pouring down his face, that was me."

"And then you grow up, become civilised and get a role like this and you think - it's
all still there."

X-Men: The Last Stand is in cinemas next Thursday.