Hugh Jackman played Wolverine in nine different films, which led to multiple run-ins with Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee. In the wake of Lee's passing, Jackman recalled that, after comic books going on to completely dominate pop culture, Lee was always more surprised than anyone at the impact superheroes
"I was really taken back by how relaxed and happy and I got the sense of a man who had become a god within a subculture and this subculture had become mainstream and at age 75, getting respect and adulation,' Jackman shared with MTV News about his interactions with Lee. "And he was like, 'I can't believe this. This is amazing. We're the kids in our basement drawing pictures and we know a few people and then 30,000 of us get together, there's 30,000 of us dressing up and there's Star Wars.' Now there's a million and a half and all of a sudden, everyone's courting them. Movie studios, everybody was courting them, and you just got the sense that he's a kid in the candy store who still loves it. He's like a kid. He was just really warm. Like, he would turn up to do all those cameos, thinking, 'This is the greatest, I'm in an X-Men movie, they're bringing this stuff that's been in my head and on the page, they're bringing it to life.'"
Jackman debuted as Wolverine in 2000's X-Men, which featured the first of dozens of cameos from Lee in a Marvel film. While Jackman and Lee were both involved in that X-Men trilogy, the actor claimed they didn't officially cross paths until nearly a decade later.
"I remember, it was 2008, I'd done three X-Men movies, we'd announced [X-Men Origins: Wolverine], I think. I did not know he was gonna be there at all. When I first met him, I was not 100 percent sure he knew he I was," Jackman revealed about meeting Lee at San Diego Comic-Con. "It was the first time I met him."
Jackman continued, "If you're Wolverine and you go to Comic-Con, it's a good day for you. I was getting some love and I remember that carpet really well and when you looked at all the cameras [turning away from you] and I look down and I was like, 'Is it Halle Berry over there?' And I was like, 'That is Stan Lee. That is cool.'"
This is only the latest tribute Jackman has shared of Lee,
“We’ve lost a creative genius,” Jackman tweeted earlier this month. “Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe. I’m proud to have been a small part of his legacy and .... to have helped bring one of his characters to life.”
While Jackman's tenure as Wolverine may have concluded, Disney's acquisition of the X-Men from 20th Century Fox means it's only a matter of time before a new performer takes on the character.
Stay tuned for details about the future of the X-Men.