The ''X-Men'' star describes what fame has brought to him and his new projects

By Jeff Jensen
December 23, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

Moment Of Arrival July 14, the debut of Fox’s X-Men, starring the then-unknown Aussie as Wolverine, a snarling, muttonchopped mystery man with metal claws and sex appeal to spare. On July 15, his phone blazing with news of X-Men‘s opening-day gross of $20.7 million (en route to a $54.5 million weekend), Jackman knew his life had changed. ”I woke up my wife and said, ‘Deb, it’s gone berserk!’ That was the defining moment.”
How He Got the Part Like a superhero saving the day, Jackman — who was once in the running for the role — swooped in to re-audition and replaced Dougray Scott when the M:I-2 villain bowed out.
Previous Jobs The London stage (most notably Oklahoma!); film work in Australia.
What Fame Has Brought Working with the big guns. Jackman’s now filming the thriller Swordfish with John Travolta and will costar with Meg Ryan in the fantasy Kate & Leopold, shooting next year.
Best Advice So Far ”John said to me the other day, ‘I just want you to get something in perspective. If we make $20 million our first weekend, that’s really, good, all right? Let’s not be expecting this $60 million business all the time.”’
What’s Next The comedy Animal Husbandry with Ashley Judd, due in March.