NEW YORK - After playing Wolverine in nine movies, Hugh Jackman arguably knows more about the superhero than anyone. But that wasn't always the case.
He recalls researching the animal when he first got the role and being somewhat mistaken about the character. For one thing, he had no idea that a wolverine is a real creature.
"I didn't even know there was a wolverine. I literally, embarrassingly did about two weeks of research on wolves. I was rehearsing for three weeks and I was shooting, so I was kind of on my own. I remember going past an IMAX in Toronto, and there was an IMAX documentary about wolves, and so I thought, 'I'll go and see that,'" Jackman said Wednesday.
When they stared shooting 2000's "X-Men," director Bryan Singer noticed something wasn't right with Jackman's performance.
"He said, 'Are you sort of walking funny, what's going on?' And I said, 'I've been doing this thing with wolves,' and he goes, 'You know you're not a wolf, right?'" Jackman recalled.
The actor was gently told he was to portray a wolverine, not a wolf. "I said, 'Well, there's no such thing as a wolverine,'" Jackman said. Singer responded: "'Go to the zoo, dude.' I literally didn't know it existed," Jackman said.
A wolverine is a mammal that resembles a small bear but is actually the largest member of the weasel family. The Wolverine that Jackman plays onscreen is a mutant born with super-human senses and the power to heal from almost any wound.
Earlier this year, Jackman marked the character's final performance in "Logan," and is now promoting the film's special treatment "Logan Noir," with a black-and-white version of the film in theatres ahead of the DVD release.
While "Logan" takes on a grittier look and feel than the other movies of the franchise, director James Mangold, who also co-wrote the screenplay, wanted the story to be more sentimental.
"From the very beginning when we set out to make the movie, the one thing we knew is that we wanted to make a movie about family," he said. "Not the kind with a girlfriend or a wife, but the kind where it's forever, and it's your child, or it's your father."
"Logan" and "Logan Noir" are currently playing in theatres, and will be available on DVD May 23.