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Whether Hugh Jackman’s current view of the X-Men franchise is tainted by the allegations of on-set chaos and sexual harassment against director Bryan Singer is a “complicated question,” according to the actor.
Jackman, who has played Wolverine in multiple films — including Singer’s 2000s trilogy — recently spoke to The Guardian about his experience on the films’ sets while promoting his latest film, The Son. In the new interview, which also touches on the actor’s upbringing, fatherhood and his stage career, he discusses how time — and abuse allegations from multiple men, including minors, against Singer — might have changed his perspective on the movies he spent so many years working on.
“You know, that’s a really, really complicated question,” he said. “There’s certainly questions to be asked and I think they should be asked. But I guess I don’t know how to elegantly answer that.”
Jackman, who is slated to appear as the beloved mutant in the third Deadpool film despite previously stating he was done with the character, noted that his reflections on those Singer-directed movies are shaped by there being “a lot of things at stake there,” including X-Men being a “turning point” for comic-book movies, resulting in “a lot to be proud of.
“I think it’s complex and ultimately I look back with pride at what we’ve achieved and what momentum that started,” he added.
Jackman was also asked about various allegations published by The Hollywood Reporter in 2020, as well as in other outlets, of a toxic working environment on Singer’s set. Those claims include “drug use, tantrums and a writers’ feud,” along with an on-set cast confrontation and a civil suit from one of the film’s actors who claimed he was raped by three of Singer’s business associates.
Several castmembers have also spoken about working with Singer, including Halle Berry, who previously said he was “not the easiest dude to work with,” adding that she “got into a few fights with him,” while Jennifer Lawrence recently shared a similar sentiment during a THR Actress Roundtable. One exec told THR that Singer’s “behavior was poor on the movie,” and noted that repeatedly accommodating the director on follow-ups “created a monster.”
While Jackman wouldn’t directly corroborate previous public comments or allegations about Singer’s behavior, he noted that it was his “first movie in America” and therefore expectations of how a set was run were “all so new to me.”
“There are some stories, you know … I think there are some ways of being on set that would not happen now. And I think that things have changed for the better,” he said. “There’s way less tolerance for disrespectful, marginalizing, bullying, any oppressive behavior. There’s zero tolerance for it now and people will speak out, and I think that’s great.”
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Santa Barbara International Film Festival