Hugh Jackman went off-script to improvise violent scene which caused co-star to fall to ground in fear
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Hugh Jackman once went off-script to improvise a violent scene – his improv proving so effective that it caused his co-star to fall to the ground in fear.
Jackman’s career has given him a breadth of roles over the years, from the all-singing, all-dancing P T Barnum in The Greatest Showman to the brooding superhero Logan in Wolverine.
But there’s one flick from 10 years ago that found an unexpected resurgence when it was added to Netflix recently – shooting up to the number one movie on the platform.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Prisoners is a thriller starring Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo and Paul Dano.
It follows the abduction of two young girls and the search for their abductor, with the father of one of the victims eventually taking matters into his own hands.
While the film enjoyed critical and commercial success after its release in 2013, it found a second wave of fans when it was released on Netflix earlier this year – with many praising Jackman’s incredible performance.
One scene is particularly impressive, as it turns out it was completely improvised by Jackman, much to the genuine surprise of co-star Dano.
Speaking to SirusXM about the sequence in December last year, he recalled: “There’s a really intense scene with Paul Dano where I’m interrogating him, and we’d been doing it for about three hours and I was absolutely exhausted. We’d done this take and deep down I was like, ‘Yeah, we crushed it, that was it.’
“And I remember Denis coming over and [he says], ‘I need to talk to you... I need you to go there.’
“I said, ‘That wasn’t there?’
“He goes, ‘No, that was not there […] I really need you to go there.’”
Jackman continued: “So we did another take, and as he was rolling film, I was like, ‘I’ve got nothing left! I’ve absolutely no idea!”
The scene sees Jackman's character threaten Dano's with a hammer, hitting the wall next to his head to intimidate him.
Dano then slumps to the ground in fear.
Jackman added: “All I’ll say is the next scene of the movie was completely ad-libbed and is in the movie.
“And how Paul Dano has ever spoken to me again, I have no idea!”
But Dano has nothing but respect for his co-star after shooting the scene, saying it was a ‘great moment’ that was completely unplanned.
He told Metro US: “Trust is one of the biggest things, no matter what kind of film you’re making. We trusted each other and our director. Safety allows us to be more dangerous.
“There’s a part where Hugh puts a hammer in the wall right next to my head, after he destroyed a sink. The sink was planned, and we had done the scene a few times.
“On one take Hugh put the hammer next to my head, totally unplanned. And then my character fainted. That was a great moment that just happened.”
Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.
Topics: TV and Film, Hugh Jackman