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The Graham Norton Show

BBC One and BBC Two chat show hosted by Graham Norton. 432 episodes (28 series), 2007 - 2021. Stars Graham Norton.

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Series 15, Episode 5 - Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Molly

Hugh Jackman reveals he had a close shave with Wolverines blades; Michael Fassbender says he owes his career to director Steve McQueen; and James McAvoy tells how he got out of shape for Filth. Eurovision hopeful Molly performs live in the studio.

Further details

Demonstrating how they got their mojo on the film set, the three stars of X-Men: Days of Futures Past, make an entrance to Blurred Lines, which sets a musical tone to the whole show, with Michael Fassbender and Hugh Jackman breaking into song - Africa by Toto - at every opportunity. James McAvoy quips, "It's like being at a wedding with your two uncles!"

Discussing their respective poll position in Empire magazine's list of sexiest men, James, who is placed 16th in the survey, way below Hugh and Michael, jokes, "If you could spend four hours with me and I could get you drunk, I'd be top of that poll!" In an attempt to make him feel better, Hugh says, "My wife has a serious crush on James... a really serious crush!"

Hugh, talking about playing Wolverine, reveals, "I was called 'Woolfie' on set - there was no end to the disrespect!' Joking that Wolverine isn't getting any younger in any of the prequel movies, he says, "Nicolas Hoult came up to me on the first day of shooting and said, 'I'm freaking out, I am such a big fan, I remember you when I was eight years old.' I said, "Stop right there, no more stories!'"

Talking more about being one of the older members of the cast, he says, "I felt like everyone's uncle! I did feel like the old man."

Revealing how gruelling getting fit for the role is, Hugh says, "It takes a minimum of six months training to get in shape. Luckily I had The Wolverine movie six months before so I had been going for about a year and a half. It takes me that long." Michael interjects, "His discipline is incredible, he is up and in the gym at 4.30 in the morning, every morning. When we arrived there was a 'Jackman' effect and we all started training to try and keep up."

And on being naked on screen, Hugh says, "I quite enjoyed it really, it's a very freeing feeling." Reminded that Wolverine's blades were once made of metal he recalls, "There was a very intense first scene and I insisted on a closed set. I ran round the corner and all the female members of the crew were gathered there. I tried to cover myself and cut my inner thigh - it was just the inner thigh thankfully! The metal claws had to go - you can't have bits and pieces flying off."

Michael, talking about his own endeavours to get into shape for 300, says, "I did seven minute circuits and had to eat almonds and cottage cheese. It was pretty full on for 10 weeks and competitive. It was brutal and you'd see an exercise and feel physically ill. By the end you would be spent."

James, talking about getting out of shape for Filth, says. "I drank too much Guinness, I ate too many pies and as much fish and chips as I could and, for the first time in my life, I overdosed on MacDonalds. The end result was projectile-based. It was really bad news - my digestive system started to fight against me. I had to pack it in and go with an unwell look rather than the full bloated effect I wanted."

On playing the young Professor X in the new movie, and asked if he was conscious that he would have to turn into Patrick Stewart, he says, "No, I was kind of ignoring the fact that anybody else had ever played it. Even when I was going face to face with him I was still trying to pretend it was only ever me that had played the part. Luckily I was charged with changing people's perception of him. I was happy to do it the way I wanted to do it but it was strange and a bit weird taking over from the old cast."

Michael, asked if he was thinking the same about Ian McKellen, says jokingly, "I stole everything from him! I actually didn't get to do a scene with him but I spent a lot of time watching him on YouTube giving a workshop on Shakespeare and on 'the Scottish play.' It was weird, but I just listened to that on a loop."

Talking about the success of 12 Years A Slave and working with Steve McQueen, he says, "I owe everything to him. He literally changed my life." Asked if he has heard the director gets jealous when he sees Michael in other films, he say, "I have heard that - it's sweet. I would never ever presumed I would get a part, but there would be a little twinge if I saw a film Steve was doing that I wasn't in."

Molly performs the UK Eurovision entry Children of the Universe live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat about the competition.

Talking about going to Copenhagen to represent the UK, she says, "I am really excited. I've done big arenas before but I've never performed in front of 160 million! I'm going to do my best."

Broadcast details

Friday 2nd May 2014
50 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Graham Norton Host / Presenter
Guest cast
James McAvoy Guest
Hugh Jackman Guest
Michael Fassbender Guest
Molly Smitten-Downes (as Molly) Guest
Writing team
Rob Colley Writer
Dan Gaster Writer
Christine Rose Writer
Production team
Steve Smith Director
Jon Magnusson Series Producer
Rina Dayalji Producer
Pete Snell Producer
Alan Thorpe Producer
Graham Stuart Executive Producer

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