More From Hugh Jackman On 'Van Helsing'[Monday, May 12th, 2003]
Hugh Jackman has been speaking with Cindy Pearlman about shifting roles from X2 to the horror Van Helsing.
In "Van Helsing," Jackman puts up his dukes against several well-known monsters. "I fight Frankenstein, Wolfman, Dracula and a few other surprises are thrown in," he promises. "It's a huge movie. Don't get me wrong. 'X 2' was a big movie, but 'Van Helsing,' my God. The sets, the action pieces--it's out of control. It's like I walked into 'Indiana Jones.'"
Jackman just wrapped principal photography in Prague, where he said one stunt went especially awry. "The village peasants were extras. We literally went into the shelters to give them work, but the problem was their English was nonexistent," he says. "So imagine this scene where I'm on wire. I have to run, run, run and then jump and grab onto Kate Beckinsale's legs and go flying through the air before I get flipped. Once I launch into this move, I cannot stop.
"Now imagine 250 extras who don't speak a lick of English running around with pitchforks for this scene," he says. "We had this one old guy who was pretty frail. He made the mistake of coming right in front of me with his pitchfork when I did my big wire flip through the air. The poor guy was 4-foot-10, all skin and bones and looked like a deer caught in headlights while I hurtled at him, unable to stop.
"I saw the blade of his pitchfork in my way and realized that I was about to kill myself, so I put my arm out and knocked it away. Literally, I thought I also killed this man," he says. "Bless his heart, the guy was OK and I wanted to say sorry, but he kept running away from me because he thought he was fired. I think he was hurt, but he didn't want to let on. So much for the scene that read, 'A melee in the village,' because it was a full-on melee."
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