“Wolverine” Director Plays Footsie with Hugh Jackman

by | April 29, 2009 at 8:26 PM | The Movies

One of the most crucial scenes in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is heavily featured in the trailers. When Logan emerges from the torturous procedure that laces the unbreakable metal known as adamantium into his skeleton, savage and angry as the fully completed Wolverine, things really start to kick into gear. It’s the most iconic image from the Marvel Comics it’s based on, but filming it presented the biggest challenge for director Gavin Hood.

“For me, it was trying to figure out how to direct Hugh Jackman when he was underwater and couldn’t listen to a single thing I said. Hugh is immersed in this tank and he goes through a range of emotions. He can’t just do it by himself even though we’ve figured out the steps because the cameras are moving and they’ve got to arrive at the place for the close-up that’s here. We experimented with this underwater speaker that the guys assure me that is going to work, but it was a total disaster. So we developed a very advanced technique for this particular scene where I rolled up my sleeve, stuck my hand in the tank and held on to his big toe, and explained to him that one grab of the toe is the moment when the procedure begins, two grabs of the toe, then the other toe, and by the time I get down to the baby toe, I’m gonna yank that thing and you’ll come roaring out. We had this whole system worked out. And then we screwed it up! I’d be on toe three and he’d think it was toe two and he’d come roaring out of the tank!”

You can get a glimpse of the finished scene here.



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Jackman’s comment on the ‘advanced techinque:’ “That shot of me coming out of the tank is actually me responding to the two dislocated toes on my right foot – ‘MOTHERFRRRAGH!’” And, as usual, Ryan Reynolds had the best quip for that situation. “This little piggie got pissed.”