Hugh Jackman says director Bryan Singer’s behaviour on X-Men ‘would not happen now’

Hugh Jackman has commented on the infamous set conditions created by disgraced X-Men director Bryan Singer.

Singer directed the first two movies in the X-Men franchise and returned for prequels X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) and X-Men: Apocalypse (2017). He has since been accused of sexual assault and rape by multiple men, which he categorically denies.

The Wolverine star told The Guardian in an interview to promote his new movie, The Son, that there were things that happened on the set that “would not happen now”.

Asked if the accusations against Singer had tainted the movies’ legacy, Jackman responded: “You know, that’s a really, really complicated question. There’s a lot of things at stake there.

“X-Men was the turning point, I believe, in terms of comic-book movies and I think there’s a lot to be proud of. And 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. I think it’s complex and ultimately I look back with pride at what we’ve achieved and what momentum that started.”

An extensive 2020 report in The Hollywood Reporter characterised Singer’s on-set behaviour as “erratic and destructive”, in part due to drug use.

Hugh Jackman in a scene from ‘X-Men’, 2000 (20TH CENTURY-FOX)
Hugh Jackman in a scene from ‘X-Men’, 2000 (20TH CENTURY-FOX)

Speaking to Variety in 2020, Jackman’s X-Men co-star Halle Berry (Storm) said: “Bryan’s not the easiest dude to work with. I mean, everybody’s heard the stories – I don’t have to repeat them – and heard of his challenges, and what he struggles with.

“I would sometimes be very angry with him. I got into a few fights with him, said a few cuss words out of sheer frustration.”

Of the stories about Singer’s behaviour, Jackman told The Guardian: “This was my first movie in America, you gotta understand; it was all so new to me.”

He continued: “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.”

In general, he said: “There’s way less tolerance for disrespectful, marginalising, bullying, any oppressive behaviour. There’s zero tolerance for it now and people will speak out, and I think that’s great.”

Singer has not made a film since being fired from Bohemian Rhapsody for allegedly disappearing from set.

The Independent has contacted Singer’s representatives for comment.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.

This article was amended on January 13, 2023. It originally inaccurately stated that Singer directed the first three X-Men movies, but he actually directed the first two movies, and then two prequels.