Hugh Jackman’s final ride as Wolverine in Logan has been pretty much universally hailed as the best X-Men movie to date, and the perfect final chapter to Jackman’s run as the adamantium-enhanced mutant. And while Jackman absolutely kicked ass in the film, there was another breakout performance that had us all talking well after the credits rolled. That was, of course, the performance of ten year-old Dafne Keen who plays X-23, or Laura. And by the looks of her audition video, she was born to play the baby badass.
Logan was an intense film, so they needed someone who could not only physically keep up with film, but also portray Laura in a way that delivered both power and emotion. Turns out that Dafne was able to do both with a startling amount of ease. Check out this video Entertainment Weekly posted of a screen test she did with Hugh Jackman (just be warned, the language is NSFW).
Not only is Keen’s performance riveting, but it’s extra impressive to know she improvised a great deal of it. Of course, with her performance in Logan being such a scene-stealer, it’s not a huge surprise that she’s got good instincts all on her own.
Keen also is highly skilled in martial arts and gymnastics, which helped her land the physically intense role. And according to Jackman, she may be small in stature, but she can pack a punch. Keen’s audition wasn’t only brilliant acting-wise, but it won her the title of being the first and only screen test partner of Jackman’s to leave bruises on his arm from where she punched him. Bruises or not, it seems like the two hit it off from the very start.
While it’s sad to bid farewell to Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Dafne Keen has given us another claw-bearing mutant to fall in love with, and X-23 may very well carry the mantle of Wolverine in future films. While we don’t know what’s next for the character or the franchise yet, Keen obviously has an incredibly bright future ahead of her. It will be exciting to see where she goes next, both in the X-Men world and films in general.
What did you think of Keen’s screen test? Would you like to see her reprise her role as Laura/X-23 in future X-Men movies? Tell us what you think in the comments!
Feature Image: 20th Century Fox
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