For this week’s Golden Globes Variety cover story, Hugh Jackman threw his weight behind “Deadpool,” making the case for why the comic-book tentpole starring Ryan Reynolds should be a prominent awards contender (and it might be — following its Writers Guild of America nomination this week). Jackman also spoke to Variety about retiring his claws as Wolverine in “Logan,” out this spring, and if he’d ever come back as the character.
You first met Ryan Reynolds when he played Wade Wilson in 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”?
Yeah, that’s where we became mates. He was about to get married to Scarlett [Johansson] at the time, and I was friends with Scarlett. It was like, “Hey dude, I’m checking you out.”
What was it like working with him on that film?
He wasn’t in the Deadpool costume in my movie. He was laying the groundwork. He came down to Australia. It was the writer’s strike, so we couldn’t have a writer. Literally, the script would say things like, “Deadpool comes in, talking a mile a minute, very funny.” Uh, where’s the dialogue? We’d say: “Yeah man, do whatever you can.”
What did you think of “Deadpool”?
A couple things I knew about. I had to sign a waiver for my People magazine cover. The bit at the end with him kissing my face, I had no idea. I saw it with my son and about 15 of his mates. I never laughed so hard from the opening titles right through.
There’s been awards buzz for Ryan’s performance.
I’ve been out there campaigning. I think he should be nominated for everything. That stuff is not easy, when you know how much of it he wrote himself and created to keep that tone. Hats off to him.
A comic-book movie has never been nominated for the Oscar for best picture. Do you think that needs to change?
When I hosted the Oscars, “Batman” didn’t get nominated and everyone was talking about it. I think the genre is evolving. It’s a stretch to say these are injustices in life — we are happy and making movies. But I love it when someone like Ryan gets recognized. I loved it when Johnny Depp got recognized for “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The word around Fox was if you’re doing anything with marketing “Deadpool,” you don’t call Ryan’s publicist. You call him direct. He was all over everything.
Would you ever do a spinoff Wolverine movie with Deadpool?
I’m hesitating, because I could totally see how that’s the perfect fit. But the timing may be wrong. I’m at the point where I’m finishing up. In terms of a theory, it’s a great idea.
How does it feel to finally retire Wolverine in “Logan”?
I’m really, really proud of this movie. I was really keen that I didn’t leave the party feeling like I could dance more. I think I’m pretty much danced out, and I had a great time. It’s been an unbelievable ride, but it feels right.
Did you keep a Wolverine suit?
I have one from every movie and the claws. I sell them for charity. Maybe I’ll keep one — occasionally, on a Saturday night, to dress up like Wolverine.