Hugh Jackman reflects on alleged behaviour on set of early X-Men films

The Australian actor had his breakthrough role as Wolverine in the first instalment of the superhero franchise in 2000.
Hugh Jackman reflects on alleged behaviour on set of early X-Men films

By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter

Hugh Jackman has claimed there was behaviour on the set of the early X-Men movies “that would not happen now” but feels things have positively changed in the industry.

The Hollywood star, 54, played Wolverine in the superhero franchise, which was directed by Bryan Singer in its early instalments.

In 2020, Halle Berry claimed she had clashed with Singer on the set of the 2014 X-Men film, Days Of Future Past, telling Variety the director was “not the easiest dude to work with”.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle World Premiere – London
Halle Berry previously revealed she had clashed with Singer on the set of the 2014 X-Men film, Days Of Future Past (Ian West/PA)

In an interview with the Guardian, Australian actor Jackman reflected on his experience while filming the early X-Men movies, with the first one being released in 2000.

He said: “This was my first movie in America, you gotta understand; it was all so new to me.

“I think it’s fair to say that… there are some stories, you know. I think there are some ways of being on set that would not happen now.

“And I think that things have changed for the better.”

The actor added: “There’s way less tolerance for disrespectful, marginalising, bullying, any oppressive behaviour.

“There’s zero tolerance for it now and people will speak out, and I think that’s great.”

Filmmaker Singer has also faced sexual misconduct claims in recent years, which he has repeatedly and strongly denied.

In a statement to Deadline in 2019, he said such reports “rehashed claims from bogus lawsuits filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention”.

Elton John AIDS Foundation Winter Ball
American film director Bryan Singer (Yui Mok/PA) .

Asked if the allegations had tainted how he sees the films, Jackman said it was a “really complicated question”, explaining: “There’s a lot of things at stake there.

“X-Men was the turning point, I believe, in terms of comic-book movies and I think there’s a lot to be proud of.

“And there’s certainly questions to be asked and I think they should be asked.”

He added: “But I guess I don’t know how to elegantly answer that.

“I think it’s complex and ultimately I look back with pride at what we’ve achieved and what momentum that started.”

Jackman featured in a string of X-Men films and three stand-alone Wolverine movies, the last being 2017’s Logan.

After a few years away from the role, it has been confirmed he will reprise the character for Deadpool 3, which stars his close friend Ryan Reynolds.

Jackman insists he was not “tortured” by the idea of previously moving on from the character but said he agreed as he “just wanted to do it”, adding: “I get to punch the shit out of Ryan Reynolds every day.”

Representatives of Singer have been contacted for comment.

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