Why did Viggo Mortensen refuse to play Wolverine in X-Men?


Before Hugh Jackman was cast as Wolverine in the X-Men movie saga that Bryan Singer began directing, other actors were selected by 20th Century Fox. One of them was Viggo Mortensen, an established actor who at that time had not yet reached the highlight of his career. Nevertheless, A meeting with the producer that he attended with his son Henry was enough for him to reject the role.

The importance of his son Henry rejecting Wolverine and accepting The Lord of the Rings

In a recent interview with Viggo Mortensen by the Happy Sad Confused podcast, he openly states the reasons why he refused to play Wolverine in X-Men. The main one was your lack of interest in embodying a character in the long run, knowing that his role would drag on for several films (in this case, even Hugh Jackman participated in additional films focused on the character), but also had a lot to do with his son Henry, who knew the character well from the comics.

This is what the actor himself commented in the interview:

“What put me back was the commitment to play the same character over and over again for endless movies. (…) I brought Henry to the meeting I had with the director because he is like my good luck charm. He he read the script and said: this is wrong, this is not how it should be. The rest of the meeting was a director in love with himself explaining in detail to Henry why he had taken certain liberties with the character. “

Viggo Mortensen in The Lord of the Rings

In the interview, Viggo Mortensen himself agrees on the contradictory decision to reject a role that will keep him for several films playing the same character when right after he agreed to play Aragorn in the three Lord of the Rings films. In this matter his son Henry also had a lot to do, since the actor has confirmed on several occasions that he did not know Tolkien’s work and it was his son who encouraged him to participate in the Peter Jackson trilogy after knowing the details.

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There seems to be no doubt as to the careful selection of Viggo Mortensen in the films in which he participates, because even today it is rare to see him appear in more than one or two films a year. His last major appearance was starring in the film Green Book alongside Mahershala Ali, which earned him an Oscar nomination for best actor.