Let it never be said that Hugh Jackman is not committed to his craft. After 17 years of playing Wolverine, Jackman is bidding the character adieu in Logan. The film, which may be my favorite of the entire X-Men franchise, features a raw, emotionally devastated version of the character who is grappling with loss in the worst way possible: alcohol, rage, and regret. That berserker rage, in particular, was something that Jackman really wanted to bring to the forefront of Logan, and showcase it in a way that had never been seen before in an X-Men film. However, Jackman does not possess Wolverine’s healing factor in real life, and he pushed himself so hard during one take that he actually blacked out. It’s a terrifying but true story that Jackman told me when I sat down with him at a New York City press day.
In addition to speaking with Jackman about Wolverine’s last hurrah, I spoke with Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, and director James Mangold about their touching, triumphant film. In particular, we spoke about the freedom afforded by an R rating to make a film that isn’t necessarily for everyone. The superhero swan song is unlike any other X-Men movie to date; while it owes a great deal to its predecessors, it feels like a mature, thoughtful, and grown-up take on the classic character. Jackman was ably aided and abetted by the best possible scene partner, the inimitable Stewart as Professor X, who plays a version of the kindly mutant leader with an increasingly fragile mental state. What results is unexpected emotional devastation and catharsis, the end result of spending more than half my life with these men portraying two of the most iconic characters and seeing their journeys come to a satisfying conclusion.Logan is in theaters now. Read our review here, and watch our previous interview with Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart reflecting on their first day on X-Men and their final day on Logan.
Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter ( @Osteoferocious).