Deadpool 3's Hugh Jackman Once Had To Convince Fans He Was Wolverine

Hugh Jackman wasn't always famous. Even getting cast as Wolverine, a role that went on to define his prolific and ongoing career, in 20th Century Studios' live-action adaptation of Marvel's "X-Men" didn't immediately change his status as a recognizable figure. During a 2006 interview with IGN, Jackman revealed that in the year following the film's release, no one clocked him as the aggressive Canadian mutant. And while Jackman admitted that this made the transition into stardom more comfortable, it did lead to some awkward moments when he felt compelled to prove his own identity to fans.

"The great thing about having done Wolverine first, in terms of my life as an actor, is that for a year after that film came out, no one recognized me," said Jackman. "Even fans, when I was walking down the street. They'd say, 'You kind of look like him, but you're not him.' At one point, I even got out my driver's license to show him who I was because they were having an argument. To settle the argument I said, 'Actually, I am the guy.' And the guy was like, 'Sure you are.' He wasn't happy about it. So, it was this great kind of thing. The movie really opened up my career and gave me great opportunities that I'd never had before. It was something I will always be forever grateful for."

Now, with Jackman having played the role nine times, and with the upcoming "Deadpool 3" being his tenth, it is almost impossible to imagine anyone not recognizing the actor as Wolverine, even if he doesn't match the source material's original character specs.

X-Men's creative team couldn't believe Jackman was Wolverine at first either

In 2013, The Hollywood Reporter published a story covering the many successes of Hugh Jackman, with a notable focus on his time as part of the "X-Men" franchise. One such anecdote shared was how even the artistic team behind 20th Century Studios' Marvel films struggled to picture Jackman as Wolverine because of his towering stature. In the source material, Logan is a short man ... a very short man (which is why so many fans want to see Daniel Radcliffe play Wolverine when the Marvel Cinematic Universe inevitably recasts Jackman).

Despite the disparity in size, director Bryan Singer and producer Lauren Shuler Donner decided to give Jackman a chance by flying him out to Toronto to perform a screen test alongside Anna Paquin, who had already been cast as Rogue at the time. Apparently, it went so well that the crew felt compelled to support Jackman's fit. "Hugh was a lot taller than the character, and Bryan wasn't sure if he was the right guy," said Donner. "So I said, 'Let me send him up to you in Toronto.' And Hugh went up, and Anna Paquin was there already, and they did a scene together, and after Bryan yelled 'Cut!' one of the crewmembers said, 'Wow! That's Wolverine.'"

"Deadpool 3," which co-stars Jackman in a surprise return to his most iconic role, will be released on May 3, 2024.