Hugh Jackman on his admiration for King Charles, his feud with Ryan Reynolds and the challenges of being a dad
Hugh Jackman has told Sky News he'd love King Charles to join him for a cameo in the new Deadpool movie.
The Wolverine star - who is reprising his X-Men role for the third film in the franchise about a foul-mouthed anti-hero - has a jokey rivalry with Ryan Reynolds who plays the title character.
He joked it's that friendly feud which has given him mixed feelings about returning to the role - and invited the monarch to give him a hand.
"It's mainly joy and excitement and fun [but] I have trepidation in that I have many, many hours every day with Ryan Reynolds." Jackman laughed.
"That's going to be a real mental health stretch for me, but I don't know, maybe we'll get King Charles in there to do a cameo.
"What do you think, Your Majesty - little cameo? You're welcome to punch Ryan Reynolds as many times as you like, Your Majesty."
Promoting his latest film, The Son, the Australian actor said that as he's also a British citizen the Royal Family is very much part of his own family's history.
"I remember even when Lady Di and Prince Charles got married, I remember my father making us all come down," he said.
"We had to watch television that night and he popped champagne, and it was very important to him.
"I wish the new monarch all the best - it's an insurmountable role to take on and I admire him for taking it on, and I wish him all the best."
Jackman also talked about the way his life has been impacted by his latest film role.
While it's not uncommon for film stars to see work forcing them to have time away, master a new skill or change their physical appearance, it's not so usual for them to admit to their relationship with their own children being changed because of a character they've played.
The 54-year-old said making The Son - in which he plays the father of a depressed teenager - has given him a new perspective on being a dad to his own children, Oscar, 22 and Ava, 17.
"Any parent knows it's the most humbling thing you can ever do.
"It pushes your buttons more than anything else, and it somehow brings out a fear and a worry that is so hard to handle, and I've become a different parent because of this film."
The star went on to explain how being in the movie has changed the way he speaks to his children.
"I find I'm more often saying, 'I don't know' or 'give me a second', 'I don't know what to do', 'I'm thinking this, but I'm also thinking that' and it really disarms them, actually, particularly when we're getting into a fight.
"And also, to tell them things that I'm feeling that has nothing to do with them, because I don't want them to think I'm mad with them, and if I'm worried about something else, I explain to them what I'm going through.
"So, it's changed things for me, for sure."
The Son is the second directorial feature from filmmaker Florian Zeller, whose debut The Father was critically acclaimed, winning Oscars for best adapted screenplay and best actor for star Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Jackman says it was him that approached Zeller about starring in his next project, despite having some "doubts" about the role.
"I actually reached out to the director, like I chased this one down because I just really, really wanted to play the part.
"I loved the story, I love Florian as a filmmaker, as a writer - The Father was incredible and so I was passionate about doing it and also daunted.
"I remember going to have my first talk with him, which he ended up casting me from, thinking I'm equally terrified to get the part and not to get the part because it's a kind of character I don't get offered a lot."
It's surprising to think of Jackman doing something he's not done before - in a varied career spanning almost thirty years he's become the longest running Marvel star as Wolverine/Logan, stolen hearts in Baz Luhrmann's Australia and showcased his musical talents in Les Miserables and The Greatest Showman.
However, he says he certainly doesn't feel as though he's mastered his craft.
"I never feel, to be honest, that I've done it all or 'ah this is a breeze'," Jackman admitted.
"It never feels easy for me.
"[The Son] was just, it felt like something I rarely get a chance to do, and I relished every minute of it."
In the film, Jackman's character struggles to understand his son's mental health issues.
The teen, played by Zen McGrath, is skipping school and finding it increasingly hard to function.
Jackman says he's extremely sympathetic to young people who are finding it hard to cope.
"It's so hard to be a teenager, and I think particularly with the pandemic, I think it's incredibly difficult," he said.
"There's social media, all these things that are so different than what we grew up with, it was hard for me growing up as a teenager - it's a really difficult time for any kid, I think - but I would say right now it's the hardest it's ever been - that's my sense of it.
"And yet, having said that, I think there's real hope, I feel that the younger generation, those teenagers are much more open about talking about things, they're much more fluid and less judgemental about what group you're in or what sexuality you have - they don't care about any of that stuff and so I see a lot of hope, but I think it's really difficult for them."
Despite recognising how tough things are now, the star also admits there are certain aspects of life now that he would have appreciated when he was younger, and toxic masculinity prevented some honest exchanges.
"Thankfully, we are getting better at having open conversations about being more vulnerable, about accepting that we don't have all the answers, about relying on other people for help," Jackman said.
"All of these things, I think, are long overdue.
"And, you know, I wish I could have had those conversations when I was a teenager."
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After his award-winning role in Zeller's previous film, Sir Anthony Hopkins returns in a cameo part in The Son - playing a different character and the father of Jackman's character Peter.
They have one, long scene together, with Jackman describing the veteran as an "acting hero" of his.
"I think the thing I learned most, that I admired about him most was that he was the first one to turn up on set before any crew member turned up he was there," he explained.
"He woke up at 3:30 in the morning so excited that he just went to work and he arrived at like 4am or something - the security guard was there, no one else and he just waited and then he was so good that we finished at like 11:30 in the morning.
"The scene was done and he asked the director if he could go again and I said to [Zeller] 'Why do you think he's going again?' He said, 'I think he just misses acting' - because of the pandemic he hadn't acted, so he just wanted to get out there and do it and he loves it."
The Son is out in UK cinemas now.