Hugh Jackman Had No Clue Wolverines Are Real Animals: ‘I Literally Didn’t Know It Existed’

He needed a zoology lesson! Hugh Jackson revealed that he didn’t know wolverines are real animals when he started filming the first X-Men movie. 

The 48-year-old actor, who has played the superhero Wolverine in nine films, explained that he thought his character was a wolf. “I didn’t even know there was a wolverine. I literally, embarrassingly did about two weeks of research on wolves,” he told the Associated Press on Wednesday, May 17. “I was rehearsing for three weeks and I was shooting, so I was kind of on my own. I remember going past an IMAX in Toronto, and there was an IMAX documentary about wolves, and so I thought, ‘I’ll go and see that.’” 

While shooting 2000’s X-Men, director Bryan Singer felt that something was off with Jackman’s Wolverine portrayal. “He said, ‘Are you sort of walking funny, what’s going on?’” Jackman recalled. “And I said, ‘I’ve been doing this thing with wolves,’ and he goes, ‘You know you’re not a wolf, right?’ I said, ‘Well, there’s no such thing as a wolverine.’”

According to Jackman, Singer replied, “‘Go to the zoo, dude.’ I literally didn’t know it existed.” While the names are alike, wolverines resemble small bears and are part of the weasel family. They are known for being incredibly strong for their size and can kill much larger prey. Similarly, Jackman’s Wolverine character possessed super strength and retractable claws modeled after the real-life animal.

Jackman wrapped up his tenure as Wolverine earlier this year in his ninth and final movie, Logan, which hit theaters in March. 

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