If membership of the X-Men has its privileges, so too does longevity of service – even if the perks can be a little double-edged at times.
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Hugh Jackman talks X-Men
The Australian star talks about costumes and avoiding the gym ahead of his new film X-Men: Days of Future Past
In Melbourne on Friday for the Australian premiere of the latest film in the franchise, Hugh Jackman said one of the best things about reprising his role as Wolverine in X-Men: Days of Future Past was the size and calibre of the cast – Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender and Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence and Anna Paquin among them.
But realising he had the biggest trailer on set was, he said, simply embarrassing.
"Let's face it, [they're] bigger names than me: Jennifer Lawrence was on the front cover of Time magazine, 'The Most Influential Woman in the World'.
"I had a trailer that basically I've had for 15 years, it's in my deal, I've always had the same thing. And I looked around at every other trailer, 19 of them, and they were all smaller, and exactly the same. And I was like, 'I'm that guy; all of a sudden, I've become that guy'. I was sure every day they were walking to work [muttering], 'Oh, Jackman's got to have the bigger trailer'.
"I felt like apologising," he adds. "It was my lawyer; I didn't ask for this."
So, were you tempted to give it up? "No," he says, without a second's hesitation or a skerrick of shame. "I'm used to it."
Jackman first played Logan/Wolverine in 2000's X-Men for director Bryan Singer, who also directed the sequel, X2, in 2003. Now Singer has returned to the franchise – which has taken more than $2.3 billion to date – but he is nowhere to be seen on the global press tour. The so-called Hollywood sex scandal, in which he has been accused of abusing a man called Michael Egan (then a teenager) in 1999, put paid to that.
It is a civil case, not criminal, and it has not yet been to court, but guilty or innocent Singer's presence on the promotional trail was clearly a potential lightning rod for unwelcome lines of questioning.
Instead, the massive cast has been dispersed around the globe, like so many X-Men on so many missions, to sell the film to an adoring public. The Melbourne premiere is one of seven, with many of the cast jetting between engagements.
Charming (as ever) though he is this day, Jackman looks tired. He's recently had a carcinoma removed from his nose, and he's sporting a mild black eye. "I think all the flying is slowing the healing process," says the actor, who flew in from the Singapore launch on Thursday night.
At least he's not alone. Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who has just finished shooting a role as a mermaid in The Moon and the Sun at Docklands Studios Melbourne, and Peter Dinklage, best known as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, are here too.
In Days of Future Past, Dinklage plays a weapons manufacturer called Dr Bolivar Trask. Nominally, he's the villain of the piece but, he says, ''He's not your typical superhero villain, like the Joker or Lex Luthor''.
Trailer: X-Men: Days of Future Past
The ultimate X-Men ensemble must change the past to save their future, as they fight a war for the survival of the species.
He is ostensibly trying to save the human race from the mutant X-Men, by selling President Nixon – the film is largely set in 1973 – some high-tech weaponry. ''Well, yeah, he's a capitalist, he's a war profiteer, and there's tremendous villainy in that,'' he says.
Dinklage, who famously has dwarfism (though admirably, the new film makes zero reference to his size), now finds himself at the centre of two of the world's biggest pop cultural franchises. But he insists his head has not been turned against the idea of working in the smaller indie films that launched his career.
''Certainly not,'' he says. "I never relate anything to how big it is or how much money is involved. It's just about how complex the character is and how enjoyable the story is. And most importantly – because movies are pretty time-consuming – it's about the people you spend time with, the collaborations you have. That's the real pleasure I get from what I do for a living.''
Well, it's clearly giving a lot of other people pleasure too. ''Thank you,'' he says. ''I like to give pleasure.''
Suddenly aware of how very Tyrion-like that sounds, he shifts uncomfortably in his chair.
''That sounds weird.''
X-Men: Days of Future Past opens Thursday May 22