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Hugh Jackman and James Mangold Describe How Characters In ‘Logan’ Are Designed to Feel Like Cowboys

Hugh Jackman has just said perhaps the most adorable thing ever.

In an interview, he expressed his intense admiration for Sir Patrick Stewart, the man who, yet again, he finds himself acting alongside in Logan:

“When I grow up, I want to be like Patrick Stewart.”


But why? Because the actor behind Professor X has the secrets to a happy life all figured out:

“He wakes up every morning of his life, and for thirty minutes, he gets a cup of tea, and reads a book. He reads something he loves, every day of his life. This guy knows how to live!”

Clearly the idea of having a casual breakfast is a bizarre concept in Hollywood. No doubt it’s far more common to be nursing a hangover or rushing out the door so as to get all your prosthetics applied before you start shooting.

If anything, Patrick Stewart’s life lesson seems to be that you should make sure you don’t need to wear a silly costume when you’re in a superhero movie.

This time around he even managed to get away without having to shave his head each morning!

According to James Mangold:

“The theory was that he originally lost all his hair because it’s just too damn busy [in his head] to grow hair – the idea for me was, well, maybe there’s a little fringe on there, because things are slowing down mentally.”

We’re skipping straight past the glaring plot hole with connection to Apocalypse and how Xavier lost his hair in that movie. The more continuity issues there are between Logan and the more egregious X-Men movies, the more we can believe that this new film exists in its own, isolated canon.

What’s interesting, though, is how strong the Western vibe for Logan appears to be embedded within the movie’s key character. Mangold has described Jackman’s character design this time around as being inspired by Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven.

Jackman, on the other hand, has said that his performance has been aided by a tip he once received from the grizzled, tough-as-nails ladykiller that is Jim Broadbent.

No, seriously, bear with us here.

According to Hugh Jackman:

“When he was playing older, [Broadbent] would tape a little stone to his heel. I would have that, just to remind myself of a limp. [Logan's] body hurts. His joints hurt. His heart hurts. Psychologically, he’s damaged. What’s the collateral damage of being Wolverine for all those years?”

So while the idea might have come from an unusual source, it still fits in with the Wild West leanings that the movie possesses. This time around, Logan is feeling the effects of a life lived hard. He’s not at his best, he’s trapped out on the frontier, and he’s pursued by younger, fitter men who won’t let him stand in their way.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how the cowboy genre has been enjoying a renaissance of sorts at the moment.

The superhero movie boom has been compared to the Wild West era of Hollywood a lot, and it’s expected that, eventually, comic book source material will burn out just as rapidly as Westerns did.

A return to the traditional Western formula likely symbolizes a nostalgic desire to return to Hollywood’s roots, as big budget action flicks get more and more ridiculous, and lack a narrative core.

How interesting, then, that the franchise – and the actor – who kicked off the superhero era, is now using Wild West symbolism to tell the story that will end Hugh Jackman’s time as Wolverine.

This isn’t a coincidence.

Feel free to interpret it yourself, as you see fit.

Matthew loffhagen

Matthew Loffhagen

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