Never doubt Hugh Jackman's commitment to his work – if he has to force down a lot of bland food in order to be Wolverine, then that's what he's going to do!
Jackman has now revealed just how hard it is to prepare himself to play the blade-knuckled mutant in the "X-Men" franchise. Not only did Jackman go through a punishing workout routine to get himself in shape for his character's upcoming solo effort, "The Wolverine," he had to pile on the calories, which isn’t as much fun as it sounds.
"You actually have to eat a LOT, and I'm quite a skinny person," Jackman said in an interview with Sirius XM satellite radio. "So I'm eating ridiculous amounts of food. I quite like everything I ate, but it’s more bland. Chicken breasts, but steamed, no salt. And steamed spinach."
According to Jackman, timing is everything when he's pouring on those calories. "When you're bulking, you're just eating so much food," Jackman said. "What I do is I eat in an eight hour period, it's all the rage this diet now. It's called the 16-8 diet. For sixteen hours of the day, I fast, so I don't eat. Between ten in the morning and six o'clock at night … I eat 5,000 calories. And then I eat nothing … it's more about, 'This is a disgusting amount of food, I can't eat another bite.' I literally talk to myself like I'm training – 'One more mouthful, c'mon man! You can do it! Just one more mouthful! Half a chicken breast to go and then you've got it! Just two meals left!'"
Adding to the challenge is the fact Jackman began work on "The Wolverine" not long after he wrapped up his role as Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables," where he fasted and cut back on his water intake in order to capture the character's physical transformation as he wasted away during the course of the story. Between the physical and emotional toll the role on Jackman, he said it was his toughest job to date.
Though Jackman cited "The Wolverine" and "Les Miserables" as his two most physically challenging roles, surprisingly his turn in the Broadway musical "The Boy From Oz," in which he played Australian singer and songwriter Peter Allen, comes in a close third. "Playing Peter Allen eight shows a week on Broadway, that was twenty songs a night, that was up there for me," Jackman said. "By the time I finished that year, I had stress fractures in my feet, I was having to ice four times a day. That was pretty arduous."
But anyone who has seen the very buff Jackman in the stills released from "The Wolverine" can see all of Jackman's hard work and chicken-scarfing has paid off. And Queen of All Media Oprah Winfrey added her two cents when she posted a pic on Instagram of her and Jackman together after an interview over lunch, with her hand casually resting on his stomach. "Having lunch convo with #HughJackman," Winfrey wrote. "Omg those abs are Real!"
Fans will get a chance to see those abs in action when "The Wolverine" opens in theaters on July 26.