Hugh Jackman Set an Impressive World Record Thanks to the ‘X-Men’ Films

When you think about Wolverine, the face that comes to mind is that of Hugh Jackman. Whether he is showing off his dance moves in The Greatest Showman or exhibiting his singing prowess in Les Miserables, Jackman will probably always be known as Wolverine.

Jackman has played the knife-wielding superhero in the X-Men franchise for close to 20 years now. His tenure as Wolverine has helped the 51-year-old actor set an impressive world record that beats Robert Downey Jr.’s, Iron Man.

Hugh Jackman smiling in front of an orange background
Hugh Jackman | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Jackman grew up in a single-parent family

Hugh Michael Jackman was born on October 12, 1968, to Christopher John Jackman and Grace McNeil. Jackman grew up in a Christian home as both his parents were devout Christians. He has four older siblings and a younger sister from his mother’s second marriage. When he was eight years old, his parents got divorced, and his mother moved back to England.

The responsibility of raising Jackman and his siblings fell on the actor’s father. After five years, Jackman recalls his father leaving for England to try and get their mother back. The trip was reportedly set to last for three weeks.

However, his father came back after only five days, and Jackman knew that the trip hadn’t been successful. Entertainment Tonight reports the actor grew up with a lot of anger and resentment. The Australian-born actor has credited that anger for his excellent portrayal of Wolverine.

He wasn’t the original choice for Wolverine

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When Bryan Singer put out a casting call for X-Men in 2000, plenty of actors auditioned to play Wolverine. At the time, actors were auditioning for the sake of acting and had no idea how big the films will be or how successful Wolverine would be in the future.

According to Mental Floss, Jackman wasn’t the original choice for Wolverine. The part was meant for Russell Crowe, but he turned it down. Dougray Scott ended up getting the role. Although Scott had been cast for Wolverine, Jackman still auditioned.

The Australian native called his audition a Hail Mary and thought nothing would come out of it. The audition was 20 seconds long. Fortunately for the rising actor, Scott got caught up filming Mission Impossible 2.

Although everyone on set thought that the mix up would get sorted and Scott would still play Wolverine, the studio executives decided they needed a backup plan. At the time, not many established actors wanted to play comic book characters.

Jackman was even warned that taking on Wolverine would hurt his career severely. However, when the first X-Men film premiered, it did so well and resulted in an explosion of several superhero movies. Jackman’s Wolverine portrayal has been almost flawless, and the actor set an impressive record thanks to the character.

Jackman holds the record for the longest portrayal of a superhero character

Many actors have played one superhero to the point that it is almost impossible to associate the character with one actor. A good example is the role of Spider-Man, which has been taken on by three actors since its inception.

However, only two actors have ever held a superhero role for more than a decade. Robert Downey Jr. is known for his portrayal of Iron Man, a part which he has held for an impressive ten years straight. His tenure might be remarkable, but Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine surpasses RDJ’s Iron Man by another decade.

Until the release of the 2017 film Logan, Jackman had played Wolverine for an impressive 17 years. Jackman is currently the Guinness World Record holder for the longest career as a live-action Marvel superhero.