Logan is more than likely Hugh Jackman’s swan song in the iconic role of Wolverine that he helped bring to life for the first time in the original X-Men film in 2000 that kicked off the franchise. Now, nearly 20 years and numerous films later, Logan is shredding box offices worldwide as only the adamantium-clad mutant can.
According to Forbes, Logan went full berserker rage at the box office, pulling in $85.3M in its opening weekend. Beyond just the impressive numbers, however, Logan no doubt has a certain sentimental value for not only fans of the comics and the character, but also fans that have been following the X-Men movies since the first release that kicked off the cinematic franchise (and our current obsession with superhero-inspired films).
While there is still rampant speculation regarding whether or not Logan is, in fact, the last time that viewers and fans will get to see Hugh Jackman suit up as the iconic Wolverine, there is no denying the commitment to the role and the commitment to putting his body through absolute hell that Hugh Jackman has had to endure in order to achieve the bulging-at-the-seams body of the iconic character.
At 48, the Logan star is at a point in his life when most men are beginning to slow down, as testosterone levels continue to drop, and these men embrace what has been commonly referred to in popular culture as the “dad bod.” However, this has not at all been the case for Hugh Jackman. He has had to stay consistently ripped throughout all of his Wolverine appearances over the years, and this potentially last go-round in Logan is no different.
In a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote Logan, Hugh Jackman quipped about some of his prep work just to be able to do a proper shirtless scene as the title character,
“I find out the date, which is the shirt-off scene. And it’s about a three month run-up. So you gotta be in good shape, but the three months before is very specific. And it finishes with dehydration. [To the audience] Don’t do this at home.”
There seems to be very good reason to not try this at home — ever. Hugh Jackman goes on to explain that he would drink up to 10 liters of water a day, and then, 36 hours prior to shooting those iconic shirtless Logan scenes, Jackman would stop drinking water completely. This yo-yo technique of massive water intake followed by complete elimination of it apparently helps get all the veins popping in the proper places to achieve berserker status right before the camera gets rolling.
According to Screen Rant, some of the other things Hugh Jackman has done on set to properly feed that animal instinct include the following.
- Taking cold showers to properly induce rage and agitation before the camera rolls.
- Doing sets of 100 clap push-ups.
- Intermittent fasting which restricts all food intake to within an 8-hour window (usually 10 a.m. — 6 p.m.).
- Alternating between bulking and cutting — usually bulking up leading up to filming and in the early stages, and then cutting toward the end.
- Although Hugh Jackman opted for fake facial hair in his first appearance, he has since grown his own facial hair naturally to fit with the character. Wolverine’s iconic mutton chops are arguably as much a part of the character as his adamantium claws or his mutant abilities.
- Doing (most of) his own stunts, and actively participating in fight scenes.
- Using protein supplements
- Lifting weights to the point of muscle exhaustion
- Lack of sleep
- 3-hour workouts
- 6 months of prep before the cameras ever start rolling
- Carefully controlled diet
- No water intake for 36 hours before filming (described above)
- Hugh Jackman taped a stone to his heel every day while shooting Logan, as a physical reminder of where his character was (mentally and physically). While the method is not debilitating, it’s enough of an annoyance that one is always aware of it being there.
- The 1000 lb. deadweight club is now something that Hugh Jackman can proudly count himself as an honorary member of. Throughout the course of his training, Jackman managed 355 lb. squats, a 235 lb. bench press, and a 410 lb. deadlift as part of a single series.
While Hugh Jackman has put his body and his mind through an absolutely grueling process over the course of 18 years and 9 appearances, there’s no denying the fact that it has paid dividends — and the latest box office figures for Logan prove that. He put his mind and body to work in a way that most actors and human beings in general never would, and his body of work speaks for itself. If this is indeed the final time that Hugh Jackman dons the claws of the iconic character he helped bring to life on the big screen, it’s a fine send-off for the actor and the character that he has become synonymous with — and that’s more than anyone can shake a stick at, bub.
Logan is now playing in theaters.
[Featured Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]