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Hugh Jackman Reveals Stan Lee and ‘X-Men’ Secrets to Stephen Colbert

The actors says he was way less famous than the comic book legend.

Most fans of Stephen Colbert know he’s a huge fan of comic books and pop culture like Star Wars. So, when Colbert had Hugh Jackman on The Late Show on Monday, the two took a moment to talk about the passing of Marvel Comics legend, Stan Lee. The also spoke about Jackman’s earliest days in connection to the X-Men universe, specifically that he was utterly confused about the character of Wolverine before filming the first movie in the year 2000.

Speaking to Colbert on Monday, Jackman admitted he had “no idea” that a wolverine was a real animal, prior to being cast in the first X-Men. “I assumed it was a made-up name for the comic books. I’d never read an X-Men comic, I’d never seen a wolverine.” This means, that in order to get into character, Jackman made the erroneous assumption that a wolverine was a kind of wolf, and so, studied wolves in preparation for the role. Luckily, his performance worked out just fine.

Jackman and Colbert also naturally reminisced about the late Stan Lee and both men expressed very warm feelings for the late comic book legend.

“I remember Stan as a true gentleman,” Jackman said, recalling his meetings with Lee while filming the various X-Men films. “He had a glint in his eye. He was a creative genius. He thought outside of the box. He created a whole universe that changed the lives of many people, mine included.”

Hilariously, Jackman also recalled the moment when he was briefly upstaged by Lee. On a red carpet at Comic-Con, Jackman assumed he would be the most sought-after by the photographers. But, he wasn’t.

“No one was taking my photo, because on the other end [of the carpet] was Stan Lee,” Jackman said, laughing. “Stan, God bless you. You’re one of the greats.”