Most, if not all, comic book movie fans who grew up watching Hugh Jackman play Wolverine had to choke back tears when the beloved hero breathed his last. This was, after all, the role that defined a generation of fans — people who were children when the first X-Men movie was released in 2000 were full-grown adults when the R-rated Logan hit theaters 17 years later.
Getting that emotional death scene to feel right was of the utmost importance for Jackman, who spoke about it in an FaceTime interview with Anne Hathaway for Variety‘s Actors on Actors issue.
“I was super invested. I felt so in it,” Jackman told Hathaway in the interview.
Hathaway noted that the scene was, in a sense, art imitating life.”Because it occurred to me that you as Hugh were saying goodbye to the character at the same time that Logan was saying goodbye to his life,” the actress says.
“Yeah, there were so many crossovers by the end, because I’d played it for so long,” Jackman responds. “I knew it was going to be my last one way before we wrote it. I made that decision. There was a weight of expectation that I’d been carrying.”
He revealed Logan‘s director, Jim Mangold, wanted to do multiple takes of the scene — in part to allow Jackman to soak in his final moments as Wolverine.
“We shot Dafne [Keen], and she turned around in two takes and he goes, “Let’s just kick out. Let’s do another.” I said, “You sure? I feel like,” and he goes, “Man, let’s just stop the clocks. Let’s not worry about everything. This is the end of 19 years.”
“Wow,” Hathaway responds.
“Sit in it for half an hour, and he rolled the cameras,” Jackman continues. “Him just allowing me that moment — because I’m like you: I’m aware of everything. Him just allowing me to just kind of, not just as an actor but as Hugh, to remember that moment. It was a luxury that I’ll never forget.”