Hugh Jackman: Viola Davis Followed His ‘Wolverine Diet’

WB, Alcon open 'Prisoners' in L.A.

Hugh Jackman Jake Gyllenhaal Prisoners Premiere
Mark Davis/Getty Images

While on set in Georgia shooting the bleak two-and-a-half hour thriller “Prisoners,” Viola Davis got the inside track on Hugh Jackman‘s eight-hour “Wolverine” diet.

“You eat for eight hours and you fast for 16. It’s a new diet thing, his Wolverine diet,” she said at the L.A. preem Sept. 12 at the Academy.

REVIEW: “Prisoners” is a Brilliant Drama

The new-age diet worked for Davis, at least according to Jackman. “She overheard me in the makeup chair and about a month later she came to me and said, ‘I have done it and it really works.’ I have done it for the last two years. I’m finished and I don’t need to be on any diet but I am still doing it.”

The principle underpinning the diet, according to Jackman, is the dieter eats what they normally would, but only during an eight hour period. “Eat what you want, but not when you want,” he says.

Despite “Prisoners'” heavy subject matter and intensity, Jackman said the actors were relaxed on set as they distanced themselves from the intensity of filming. “When you are working with actors like that, you know when it comes to it, they are there. So they are more relaxed, they know they can go there, those intense places. You can’t live in that intensity all the time. Relaxation is the only way you can get into that place.”

Co-star Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays a high-strung detective searching for two missing girls, explained in more detail. “Weirdly as an actor it is almost like a sling shot. The further you get away from the idea the tighter you get wound and then you let go and you go farther and faster toward the target.”

Paul Dano, who had some of the most grim scenes in the film, agrees that it’s important to step away from the work mentally.

“Maybe you walk away and you have a little something, maybe a drink that night or that weekend. These scenes in this film were so intense I would equate them to a fever dream. I don’t really remember it.”

After-party was held at Spago. WB and Alcon open “Prisoners” on Sept. 20.