Over the past two days, we had Hugh Jackman, Peter Dinklage and Fan BingBing here in Singapore for the Southeast Asia premiere of X-Men: Days of Future Past which opens in cinemas here next Thursday, 22nd May.
The cast were at the Ritz Carlton for the press conference yesterday morning to talk about the upcoming movie as well as share their thoughts and experiences filming the movie.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is the seventh X-Men film to date and acts as a sequel to both 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand and 2011’s X-men: First Class, as well as a follow-up to 2013’s The Wolverine. The movie begins in a post-apocalyptic future where giant mutant-hunting robots are sent to track down survivors from the X-Men and destroy them. In order to change the course of history and prevent the doom for both humans and mutants, Wolverine is sent into the past to save their species.
What is so exciting and interesting about this movie is that we get to see both the old and young Magneto and Professor X and the contrast between these characters’ future and young selves. There is even one scene where a young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) confronts his future self (Patrick Stewart) telepathically.
Unlike the other X-Men films where Wolverine is portrayed as a fierce and gruff warrior who is often quick to anger, we witness a lot of characer growth in him in this movie. Instead of resorting quickly to violence and aggression, we see Wolverine as a more passive figure, a leader who has to maintain patience in convincing Professor X and his fellow X-Men about their bleak future and to motivate and unite the team to save themselves from their dreadful fate.
Jackman, who has been playing Wolverine for 14 years, describes the movie as the most “visually thrilling and exciting” as well as “emotional and character driven” out of all of the other X-Men films.
“It’s a whole different side of Wolverine in this movie. He’s more of a diplomat, a courager, mentor; not really his skill set, which is fun to play.”
Dinklage, too, who portrays the primary antagonist of the story, a military scientist Bolivar Trask, creator of the Sentinels, admitted that, as a huge fan of the X-Men comics films, X-Men: Days of Future Past really exceeded his expectations.
To Jackman, this film feels “fresh and new and original to him; it feels like a beginning, it doesn’t feel like an end.” He also shared that the thing that makes X-Men work for him is the story, the vulnerability of the characters and not just their superhero abilities.
The cast were extremely charming and entertaining. When Jackman was asked if he had done anything extra in preparation for his nude scene in the movie, Dinklage jokingly added, “I was his body double for that scene“, invoking laughter from the audience. “There were a few extra lunges and squats done that morning“, Jackman replied in a more serious tone, “It takes a long time to get into shape for a scene like that, somewhat like peaking for a marathon.“
Reflecting on how X-Men has changed his life, Jackman is very grateful for the role of Wolverine.
“People ask me all the time when I’m going to give it up and its very hard thing to imagine because it is very close to me and feels like part of who I am.” Jackman recounted how his son, Oscar, was born while he was making X-Men and that they would always watch the X-Men movies together.
When asked if his son in the future pursues an acting career, whether he’d be honoured to have him play Wolverine Junior, Jackman replied “Absolutely. Father to son. I’d like a family business.“
Despite having a tight touring schedule, an energetic Jackman charmed his way through the conference, spontaneously getting into character when an audience member asked to speak to Wolverine and instigated a fight with him outside of the room.
“When you order a steak do you use cutlery or do you just stab the ribeye?” – Audience member
“You making fun of me?” – Hugh Jackman, as Wolverine.
Written by: Genie Yamaguchi