Logan might be considered Hugh Jackman’s last hurrah as the Wolverine, but it’s also the breakout hit for newcomer Dafne Keen. Her big screen debut as X-23 came with lofty expectations for the character, who first appeared 14 years ago in the cartoon X-Men: Evolutions.
And fans responded generously, as evident by the movie’s ranking as the #1 Fan-Favorite Film on ComicBook.com.
Director James Mangold spoke at length about casting this important character, saying that it was as much her film as it was Logan’s or Charles Xavier’s.
“I felt like I had written with my writing partners a stool with three legs,” Mangold said to CBR. “I knew one leg was Hugh Jackman and one leg was Patrick Stewart, but I had no idea who was going to be this third leg and they needed to be between 10 and 12 years old, bilingual, physically talented and an amazing actress.”
Well, that criteria certainly limits a director’s options. But Mangold found struck gold when he viewed the 11-year-old Keen’s audition.
Distinguished Competition: How DC Movies Influenced Logan
“The first introduction was this tape I got of her climbing around on bookshelves at their house and prowling around lounge chairs and doing a somersault or two,” he said.
They flew Keen and her parents out to New York City where they had her audition alongside Jackman, acting out the particular scene when they both get frustrated with each other and she punches him in the face.
“That was one of the scenes we did in New York and I kept encouraging [Dafne] to get crazier and crazier in that scene,” Mangold said, “and I think Hugh ended the day with a giant bruise on his shoulder.”
Hmm, guess there might be something to ‘method acting’ after all.
Logan is now in theaters. Go check it out and tell us what you think of Keen and Jackman's on-screen chemistry, and vote in our Movie Database below to tell us how you feel!
In Logan, in the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
Logan is directed by James Mangold, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Frank and Michael Green, from a story by Mangold, and also stars Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant and Dafne Keen.