'X-Men' Memories: Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart on What Happened to Professor X's Wheelchair and More

Ethan Alter
·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Logan marks the end of Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart’s association with the X-Men franchise. So when Yahoo Movies sat down with the former Wolverine and Charles Xavier recently, we couldn’t resist turning back the clock to the beginning of their 17 years as two of the world’s most famous mutants. Stewart and Jackman originated their roles in Bryan Singer’s inaugural X-Men adventure, which hit theaters in the summer of 2000 and helped pave the way for the Marvel Movie Universe as we know it today. And they each have fond memories of those early days, from indulging in some on-set improvisation to zooming around the set in Professor X’s turbocharged wheelchair. (Watch our video interview with the actors above.)

Here’s one secret about the first X-Men that even Stewart didn’t know: Jackman invented Wolverine’s famous put-down of Xavier — “What do they call you, Wheels?” — on the spot. As the Australian actor explains it, it was a callback to his days as an employee for an English boarding school, where he overheard students coming up with the most inappropriate nicknames for each other. “I was amazed by how mean, but good-natured, the nicknames were,” he says. “So I drew on it a little for that scene.”

Jackman also regaled his co-star with a great story about what happened to Professor X’s chair after shooting wrapped. “They didn’t know there was going to be a second one — this was the early days of franchises. It got sold at a charity auction to a lawyer for $40,000.” That $40K proved to be a wise investment; when X2 went into production, the studio rented the chair back from its new owner for a $60,000 fee. “Singer loved that wheelchair,” Stewart chimes in. “He would race it up and down the corridor outside of Cerebro as if he was on a Grand Prix circuit.”

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