X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE COMES OUT THIS MONTH. MOST PEOPLE THINK WOLVERINES ARE WOLVES, BUT THEY’RE ACTUALLY THE LARGEST LAND-DWELLING MEMBERS OF THE WEASEL FAMILY.
Are they officially weasels? That’s not sexy. Wolverine: The Rise of the Weasel!
DOES WOLVERINE “MANSCAPE”?
No. His hair is just wild and reckless, very 1970s. Those ridiculous muttonchops! I don’t know why, but whenever I do these movies, the crew always ends up having a muttonchop competition. On the last X-Men, the construction crew all put money in, and I had to come and judge “best muttonchops.”
DO YOU TRIM A BIT YOURSELF?
I shave my face, but I don’t manscape. My old man does have a fair crop of back hair, so I’m thinking that it might be genetic. I asked my wife, Deb, to keep an eye on it.
IN THE X-MEN FILMS, FAMKE JANSSEN’S JEAN GREY COMES OFF AS A DOMINATRIX. DOES THAT MEAN WOLVERINE IS THE SUBMISSIVE?
I can’t see him on all fours, to be honest. Or getting a spanking. He’s overtly tough and rugged. But maybe behind the bedroom door he’s wearing nappies or diapers—or something, you know, weird.
DO YOU TIRE OF ADDRESSING THOSE CRAZY RUMORS THAT WOLVERINE IS GAY?
Well, I think he has a very long history. He’s actually over 100 years old, and maybe it was just a phase.
WHAT BRAND OF CIGAR DOES WOLVERINE LIKE TO SMOKE?
Cohiba. You’ll find him with a cigar in his mouth a lot, but at no point is it lit. There’s just too much pressure [from the politically correct] for him not to smoke it. And actually it’s a little clichéd: Cigar equals tough guy. It feels like Acting 101.
DO WOLVERINE GROUPIES EXIST?
At Comic-Con they do, en masse. But I run into them all over the place: customs officials, Vinny the maître d’ at Bubby’s restaurant in Manhattan. That guy’s entire back is covered with a Wolverine tattoo. He took his shirt off in the middle of the restaurant to show me. Some fans think Wolverine had become too soft by X-Men 3. They want him to be more badass. He’s famous in the comic books for this berserker rage. I’m 6'2", but Wolverine was meant to be 5'3". The comic has times when he just goes crazy and slaughters innocent people!
WHAT’S THE MOST DANGER YOU’VE EVER FACED ON A SET?
It’s really everybody else on the set who has to watch out. I’ve stabbed so many people by accident with my claws, and I stabbed myself in this movie, in the thigh.
YOU WERE GETTING UP AT 4 A.M. EVERY DAY TO WORK OUT. THAT’S PRETTY SERIOUS.
I just saw Wolverine yesterday with my wife. She kept saying, “Who is that guy?” I wanted him to look veiny and animalistic. I didn’t want him to look pretty. I wanted him to look disturbing, the way Robert De Niro did in Cape Fear.
HOW DOES ALL THE GYM TIME GO OVER WITH YOUR AUSSIE MATES?
They give me shit about everything. Privately, quite a number of them have said, “Man, I really want to get into shape. What should I do?” And I said, “Those beers you had at breakfast this morning? Not a great start.”
SPEEDOS OR BOARD SHORTS?
Growing up in Australia, you wore Speedos. I remember doing a photo shoot down on the beach in L.A. when I was starting out. I had Speedos on. And just as the photographer was about to take my picture, my publicist ran up and practically tackled me to the sand. He said, “If that photo is taken of you, you’ll be gay for the rest of your life.” I said, “If you went down to an Australian beach and called guys wearing Speedos gay, you wouldn’t walk off that beach.” I know now I need to be wearing board shorts wherever I am in the world.
PEOPLE MAGAZINE NAMED YOU THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE. WHO ARE THE SEXIEST WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD?
Beyoncé, for one, having just performed with her [at this year’s Oscar presentation]. Halle Berry is very sexy, too.
IT’S BEEN A FEW MONTHS NOW, AND NO OFFENSE, BUT HOW ON EARTH DID YOU END UP HOSTING THE OSCARS?
No offense taken. Before the show [former Oscar hosts] Steve Martin and Whoopi Goldberg both said to me, Look, you’ll have a very warm audience, the cameras are on them, and they’re more nervous than you. And after about an hour, just move that puppy along.
HOW WAS MAKING OUT WITH NICOLE KIDMAN IN AUSTRALIA? SHE’S ONE OF YOUR WIFE’S BEST FRIENDS AND ALL.
It’s more awkward kissing someone you’ve never met before, because the moment “Cut” happens, you don’t have enough of a relationship to talk to the person afterward. It’s like being on a really awkward first date: You wake up in the morning, and you really don’t have anything to talk about.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine hits theaters May 1. He also voices the character in the eponymous video game movie tie-in hitting stores this Friday.