Let’s be honest about this, no one really knew what to expect when X-Men hit theaters so many years ago. We had expectations in place as to what the heroes and the villains would be like, and we definitely knew what we wanted to see. But we had no idea that things were going to focus on Rogue, or that a relatively unknown actor such as Hugh Jackman would end up becoming the personification of one of Marvel’s most popular mutants. One has to remember that Jackman had little to no experience in big-budget movies, and it’s fair to say that he was probably more than a little nervous. The upside of his casting is that he had two very astute and friendly mentors in Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, who had been around for a while at that point and knew a thing or two about acting, and what to say to an up and coming star that would eventually embrace the role that people came to love. In fact, they even went so far as to give him the kind of advice that he still follows to this day.
Jackman has obviously moved on from the X-Men and Wolverine, or at least it would appear that way until a tweet that made people wonder if he might be thinking of coming back at one point. But the advice given by Stewart and McKellen so long ago has likely been followed ever since as both bits of advice were no doubt seen as invaluable. McKellen’s advice was pretty simple, as he imparted the idea that one is only acting for a minute or two at a time, which makes sense after watching enough behind-the-scenes featurettes. The pace of filming is apparently very stop and go, and McKellen made it clear that things were going to be uncomfortable, but that one has to go with it and do what they can to get used to it. At least, that’s what appears to be the gist of what McKellen had to say.
Stewart told Jackman that he took time out of his day just to have to himself, as he would wake earlier than needed, make a cup of tea, and then sit in bed reading a book until the original time to wake up arrived. This might feel as though it’s not entirely possible to some people due to the nature of our jobs, our commute, and many other factors that go into waking up, moving forward, and getting things done during the day. But this is advice that Jackman has apparently followed for a while now, and has been living by thanks to his costars. It’s tough to deny that it would be nice to have this leisure time in the morning to simply wake up and enjoy the day for a short while before getting to work, as plenty of us would no doubt like this very much. It’s more attainable than many people might think, especially if we make the sacrifice of getting up just a bit earlier. Of course, for those of us that are night owls, this is a little more difficult since the body does need sleep on occasion.
The advice helped it would appear as following the X-Men movie, Jackman’s career started taking off in a big way, with Wolverine being his most recognized character as fans couldn’t help but think that he was the perfect person, and the only person, who was fit to play the role. There’s no doubt that this will be contested when it’s finally time to bring the X-Men back into the fold with their emergence into the MCU, but for now, Jackman is the face of the Canadian mutant and the only one that people are really wanting to see. Imagining him being nervous during his first outing in this role isn’t too hard since there were plenty of Marvel fans that were ready and willing to tear apart any effort that they felt was below what they’d been hoping for. The truth is that Jackman’s character was a bit too tall and there were other traits that people nitpicked over, but the overall feeling was that Jackman did a great job.
The notion that anyone else could have done what Jackman accomplished over the years is hard to picture since he became Wolverine in a way that is definitely possible for other actors but is still going to be tough to replace. One can’t help but think that the search for the next Wolverine is going to be a tough one, especially when it comes to the fans accepting another individual apart from Jackman. It’s bound to happen since people want Wolverine to come back, but without Jackman taking on the character again, it’s going to be easy to think that the next person in line might be just as nervous.