ANY actor will tell you no one takes a nude scene lightly, so when Hugh Jackman agreed to go full monty in X-Men: Days Of Future Past, the 45-year-old took no chances in making sure his body would be in tip-top shape.
During a small group interview last Wednesday, when he and his co-stars Fan Bingbing and Peter Dinklage visited Singapore to attend the premiere of the film and meet the press over a whirlwind two-day promotional tour, the actor who plays the mutant character Wolverine revealed how much he went through just to flash his naked rear end (in glorious 3D) on the big screen for just a couple of seconds.
"I remember the date clearly - May 21st - because it was like preparing for a marathon," the Australian-born Jackman says, adding he also spoke to action star Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock for tips. "And then the assistant director told me they might move that scene and I said: 'Sure, you can do anything you want but I will get naked on May 21st; whether it's on the plane or in the White House.'" Thankfully, the scene went ahead as originally planned but there's a coda.
On an English television talk show a couple of weeks earlier, Jackman revealed another incident behind that particular shoot. While trying to shield his modesty from some female members of the crew on the closed set, he panicked slightly and almost castrated himself with Wolverine's razor-sharp claws. Thankfully the close shave ended only with him cutting his inner thigh.
Charming and quick-witted in person, Jackman is not only a hit with the fans because he plays X-Men's arguably most popular mutant; his co-actors are equally smitten with him. Fan says Wolverine has always been her favourite character and Jackman won her respect because of the sheer amount of self-discipline he showed when he hit the gym every morning at 4am to prepare for the role. The mainland Chinese superstar, who is a fan of the series and has watched every movie in the franchise, plays the mutant Blink. It's the first time her character is appearing on the big screen and she expressed surprise when writer-director Bryan Singer picked her for the role when the original character from the comic book was not even of Asian descent. "But he told me he wanted to amaze everybody so that's why in the movie I have green eyes, purple hair and pink skin," explains the 32-year-old, through an English translator.
Like Fan, Dinklage is also appearing in the film series for the first time as the villain Bolivar Trask, a military scientist who invents mutant-killing robots. The 44-year-old is getting even more popular now after appearing in the hit TV series Game of Thrones, where he won a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe and Emmy in 2011.
He is unsure if his character in X-Men will appear in the movies as regularly as Wolverine but Dinklage says he will be more than happy to return for any reason.
He quips: "I'd even come back to serve coffee", before pouring an imaginary cup of the brew and adding: "More coffee, Mr Jackman?"