Hugh Jackman Responds to Steroid Use Allegations for X-Men Role

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Hugh Jackman Wolverine muscles transformation

Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman addressed claims that he resorted to steroids to transform into the X-Men character, noting that he's aware of the "side effects" and just "did it the old school way."

While the hype for Jackman's Marvel comeback as Wolverine in Deadpool 3 has been sky-high, some have wondered how the actor has stayed in tip-top shape despite his age. 

As a response, Jackman proved on social media that he had been involved in rigorous training to prepare for Deadpool 3. However, the actor is no stranger to critics, with some even accusing him of using a certain drug to keep him jacked. 

Now, the actor has finally put to rest these accusations. 

Hugh Jackman Responds To Steroid Use Claims for Wolverine Role

Hugh Jackman sat down as a guest on HBO's Who's Talking to Chris Wallace, via Variety, to talk about the allegations that he used steroids for his role as Marvel's Wolverine. 

When Wallace directly asked the Deadpool 3 star if he used such drugs, Jackman responded with a firm "No," saying that he loves his job and the character. 

Jackman continued by sharing that he was made aware of the side effects of using steroids before confirming that he "did it the old-school way" by eating "more chickens:"

Wallace: “Over the years people have wondered, did he juice? Did he take steroids?”

Jackman: “No, I love my job. And I love Wolverine,” Jackman said. “I got to be careful what I say here, but I had been told anecdotally what the side effects are of that. And I was like, ‘I don’t love it that much.’ So no, I just did it the old school way. And I tell you, I’ve eaten more chickens — I’m so sorry to all the vegans and vegetarians and to the chickens of the world. Literally the karma is not good for me. If the deity has anything related to chickens, I’m in trouble.”

In September 2022, UFC color commentator Joe Rogan accused Jackman of using steroids due to the actor being "jacked, and he's 40 years old:"

“I am 100% confident that guy did steroids, look at his body, Hugh Jackman got fucking jacked and he’s 40 years old. I’m sure he was on a wonderful diet, I am also sure without a shadow of a doubt he was manipulating his hormones. Is it possible to get that big without steroids? If you’re 20.”

Meanwhile, in the same interview with Wallace, Jackson confirmed that he studied wolves after accepting the role of Wolverine in 2000's X-Men:

“I had never read the comic book. I got the part. I didn’t really know anything about…I didn’t, in Australia we don’t have wolverines. I didn’t know that was a real animal. I’d never heard of a wolverine. I thought it was a made-up animal. You know, like, he’s got man hands of steel, made up. And so I was passing as I was doing rehearsal at the IMAX, they had this documentary about wolves. And I was like, perfect, because obviously I’m a wolf, part wolf.”

Jackman then shared that he went to set "with all these wolf moves," before the film's director called him out and told him that he's a wolverine: 

“So I went [to set] with all these wolf moves and I was doing these moves, and the director said, ‘What are you doing? And I said, ‘Well, I was just thinking wolves are always looking like this because they’re actually smelling, they’ve got their nose to the ground. That’s why they’re looking like this all the time.’ And he goes, ‘What do you mean a wolf?’ And I said, ‘Well, you know, Wolverine — I’m part wolf so…’ and he goes, ‘No, you’re a wolverine.’”

Wallace then asked Jackman how he got himself cast as Wolverine, considering that the X-Men hero is 5'5 and the actor is 6'2. 

After confirming that he had done "seven auditions" for the role, The Greatest Showman actor explained that he never had his shoes on in the first X-Men film, noting that the role then was every other actor around him "had to be taller than me:"

“I did about seven auditions… I remember finally, I did audition, audition, audition. And then I went to see the head of production. We were talking, and he said, ’You know, it’s just one problem. I hope the fans are not going to have a problem because the character’s meant to be 5’5. And I said, ‘Tom, really. (starts walking while squatting) It’s going to be absolutely fine. Don’t worry about a thing.’ I literally walked out like that. And actually in the first movie, Chris, I never had my shoes on. Every other actor around me– the rule was, unless they were a kid, they had to be taller than me."

Jackman ended by sharing the "great effort" that the production crew had to make for the sake of adhering to Wolverine's height:

"People were on– I was literally crouching like that. Shoes off. People were on planks and boxes all around me. So they went to a great effort. And I think after a while, they just gave up on that.”

The podcast host then asked Jackman how he dealt with Wolverine's claws. 

The Logan actor first confirmed that the claws that he used were "actually metal and actually sharp" before revealing that he practiced a lot of times at home, which even led to him stabbing his thighs: 

“You know what, we were just watching that clip, Chris, and you know what came into my head? In that fight, I actually stabbed the double of Mystique. So in the beginning, I don’t know what we were thinking. They were actually metal, and they were actually sharp. And I used to practice. I practiced at home, because I’ve done a lot of fighting, but never with another– I had to get used to another nine inches beyond my hand as I’m fighting. So I had to adjust. So I’d practice, practice, and I would follow through. I’ve stabbed my thighs, I had scars. I still have scars on my thighs."

As the pair watched a clip of Wolverine and Mystique's fight from the first X-Men movie, Jackman revealed that he accidentally stabbed the stuntwoman "deep into her arm," but she did ultimately recover after the scary incident:

"And in that particular scene, there’s one thing where she’s reaching for something and I go to stab her arm. She forgot to move her arm. And I literally stabbed. It went about this deep into her arm. And I’ll never forget it. I went wide. I’ve literally just stabbed someone for the first time in my life. And she just– the blood was burbling out, like bloop, bloop, bloop. It was starting to come. And she just like this, and she goes, ‘I’ve been stabbed by Wolverine!’ There was just blue and red just pouring down her arm, because she was a stuntwoman, and she’s a hell of a lot tougher than me. And it was a badge of honor for her.”

Why Using Steroids Doesn't Make Sense for Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman's latest statement about denying that he used steroids to transform into Wolverine is a fitting way to silence his doubters. 

The actor has proven many times that his preparation for his Marvel role doesn't involve any drugs, as past reports indicate that Jackman had an intense workout and dietary plan. 

For example, in 2014, Jackman admitted that preparing for Wolverine required him to "really up the training," noting that "diet is the biggest change that happens." 

Considering that looking the part is just the tip of the iceberg, playing Wolverine also requires Jackman to be mobile and be more active since the character is involved in many action scenes. This wouldn't be possible if the actor used steroids in the past, mainly because one of its known side effects is swelling of one's lower legs due to a buildup of fluid. 

Jackman's Wolverine return in Deadpool 3 will be no different as the actor is expected to take a similar route as his past preparations. Hopefully, fans will get to see Jackman and Ryan Reynolds working out together in the coming months to prepare for the MCU threequel.

Deadpool 3 debuts in theaters on November 8, 2024.

- In This Article: Deadpool & Wolverine
Release Date
July 26, 2024
Matthew Macfadyen
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.