Playing Wolverine Permanently Damaged Hugh Jackman's Tony Award-Winning Voice

Hugh Jackman's Wolverine is a man of few words ... but many growls. Until 2021, the actor held the title for having the "longest career as a live-action Marvel character." Seriously, Jackman has portrayed the mutant superhero for a long, long time. Although the 2000 "X-Men" film was the Australian actor's big breakthrough in Hollywood, Jackman has been a Broadway star for much longer.

Even before he landed the role that transformed his career forever, Jackman had been nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance in an "Oklahoma!" production and had an established career on stage. Playing Wolverine wasn't an easy job for Jackman. Though he had relatively fewer lines, he still had to convey many emotions, particularly a primal, animal rage that seemed suitable for the character. After all, Wolverine's a pretty feral guy. He's a killing machine with a mysterious past and a temper that makes him slightly dangerous. He has claws. And he growls. That was much different from Jackman's previous roles, which required him to sing and dance.

Long after the success of "X-Men," Jackman's efforts on stage have earned him the reputed Tony Award. Still, he continued filming Wolverine's animalistic growls for a long time. which caused some severe damage to his voice.

His drama teacher wouldn't be happy with his career pursuits

Hugh Jackman recently finished a triumphant run on "The Music Man" on Broadway, but the actor doesn't think his voice is how it used to be. The man can act, sing, and dance, so it's no wonder fans referred to him as a triple threat. But his award-winning voice has significantly been altered by all the roaring he did to portray Wolverine. and While Jackman is working on repairing the damage, he seems confident that he doesn't sound the same anymore.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Front Row (via Entertainment Tonight), the actor shared confirmed that his voice had been damaged through all the years he returned to play Wolverine. Jackman joked about how those who helped hone his award-winning voice would feel about this development:

"My teacher at drama school would have been horrified by some of the things I did in Wolverine ... I've done some damage to my voice, through playing Wolverine."

'My falsetto is not as strong'

Jackman believes all the yelling he did as Wolverine has harmed his skill set. With a lot of training, he was able to commit to his song and dance pieces on both the stage world and the big screen. But the consequences of playing Wolverine are something he now has to live with. Judging from what the actor has to say, he seems convinced the part altered his musical abilities:

"My falsetto is not as strong as it used to be, and I put that down directly to some of the growling and yelling I did."

The actor is "working on" making his voice better, though. He trains hard for every role, engaging in the necessary physical fitness regime and vocal preparation ahead of time. And though he's going to reprise his role as Wolverine soon for "Deadpool 3," Jackman is making sure that he won't do further damage to his voice:

"I work with a singing teacher and I try not to hurt myself. I put a lot of effort into both physical movement and my vocal preparation for every role."

Hugh Jackman will step into the role once again

When Hugh Jackman was cast as Wolverine, it didn't make much sense to fans of the comics. Wolverine was burly, muscular, hairy and only stood 5'3". He's also Canadian, which the Australian actor was not. Hugh Jackman's contribution to theatre was noteworthy, but he didn't have the mainstream Hollywood clout to sway any who doubted him, which meant expectations were high. But then "X-Men" hit theaters in 2000, and everyone's doubts disappeared. Jackman's supposed lack of physical resemblance to the hero's comic book counterpart was no longer an issue. Fans were immediately convinced by how incredibly he captured the essence of the superhero: a gray character with unstoppable superpowers and an anti-hero that didn't always make the right choices.

Since then, year after year, Jackman returned to star in several more "X-Men" movies, including a franchise squarely focused on Wolverine. The actor also let us see Wolverine in moments of vulnerability, whether it was during his association with Jean Grey or his time as a grizzled caretaker to the mutant who mentored him from a feral fighter to a hero. 

Jackman left a real mark on Wolverine, eventually painting a slow-aging portrait of the hero, solidifying the emotional connection fans have with him every time they see him. But even his picture-perfect send-off in "Logan" wasn't enough. 

Despite seemingly leaving the "X-Men" franchise behind, Jackman was compelled to take on some unfinished business. Since finishing his musical run, the actor has started training to star as Wolverine in "Deadpool 3," alongside Ryan Reynolds, who plays the titular character. "Deadpool 3" will be the 10th film with Jackman playing Wolverine, and it promises to be quite the blockbuster affair. Jackman's work as Wolverine has been a huge feat, and it's something the actor still takes seriously.