Jackman is now starring in The Greatest Showman.
"I was about to do X-Men 2 and a call came from my agent asking if I'd be interested in Bond", 49-year-old Jackman told the magazine, dishing on the opportunity that came his way following his success as Wolverine. He would have been balancing the X-Men franchise and the James Bond franchise at the same time, which would be incredibly hard for any actor, which is part of the reason he turned down the role. "But I'm in the surgeon's office, and he's not letting me leave until I call you and say there's no way I can sing tomorrow'". For Jackman, it was a chance to say goodbye in a very personal way, and his emotional impression of the film was that, after almost 20 years, he finally nailed the character.
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James Bond is one of the most iconic and enduring characters in the history of cinema. "I was also anxious that between Bond and X-Men, I'd never have time to do different things", he admitted.
Jackman said that he's always wanted to try to do "different things" in his career, although he anxious about getting typecast between X-Men 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as the roles he started getting offered were becoming too similar.
Ironically, the Bond films did become grittier and real with the release of Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig as the iconic superspy.
"I always tried to do different things", he said. "It felt a little bit claustrophobic", he said. "People wanted me to play that kind of hero part exclusively", he said.