You making fun of me?
Wolverine issues backstage challenge after DJ shoots 'fun' questions
The voice was low, the tone, menacing. It was obvious Wolverine wasn't pleased.
"You making fun of me?" he asked the journalist. "Are you? Let's go, come on, let's go," he added, cocking his head towards the door leading backstage, body language clear that he meant business.
Poor Joshua Simon. The Hot FM 91.3 radio DJ looked stumped, confused.
Meekly, he followed the star backstage, to cheers and laughter from the rest of the media and Hugh Jackman's amused co-stars, Chinese actress-singer Fan Bingbing and US actor Peter Dinklage.
The occasion was the X-Men: Days Of Future Past press conference at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore yesterday.
Everything was going well until Simon asked to speak to Wolverine during the short Q&A session, instead of throwing a question directly at Jackman, 45.
Without missing a beat, the Australian actor raised his eyebrows and spoke to Simon menacingly in a low growl, very much like the no-nonsense character he plays in the X-Men movie franchise.
"He doesn't talk a lot, he's gonna talk about your hair," growled Jackman.
"Did you actually work on that hair? That's a choice? What were you thinking, bro?"
Simon, 24, who sports a dyed mohawk hairstyle, looked slightly taken aback, but allowed a brief pause before he shot another "fun" question.
"When you order steak, do you use cutlery or do you just stab the rib-eye?"
That's when Wolverine snapped, and issued his backstage challenge.
Luckily for Simon, it appears that the fearsome superhero had left behind his trusty metal claws.
Simon told The New Paper after the event that he was "panicking" when he was backstage.
"I was so confused as to what he was going to do. I thought I really pissed him off, or that he was only kidding and he would return to his seat. I also thought he wanted to wrestle me," said Simon.
Meekly, he did the one thing that came to mind - he asked for a selfie, which Jackman ignored.
The actor's next move threw Simon off.
"He was so into his character as Wolverine. He told me to 'hold on', grabbed a bottle of water from the security guard nearby, and said, 'What's going to happen is that I'm gonna wet your hair'," he said.
When Simon said he had applied hair wax, he said Jackman appeared baffled and asked what that was.
The latter then poured water onto his hand and patted down Simon's hair to give him a dishevelled appearance, as if he had just been beaten up by Wolverine.
Simon said: "He then grabbed my arm and put it around him like he was trying to lift me out of a fire.
"He told me, 'I'm going to drag you, and you're going to look like I had beaten the crap out of you.'"
The pair then reappeared to laughter all around.
It was a prized moment for Simon, who is a big fan of Jackman's work.
"Never mind that I looked super unglamorous, triple chin and all. It was a surreal moment, a memory that is so much better than a selfie or a picture-perfect shot with him," said Simon, whom Jackman winked at and waved to before exiting the stage.
It was a light-hearted end to the press conference, with most of the questions meant for Jackman, the natural comedian of the three.
The witty star answered mostly movie-related questions, but was unable to resist a joke or two.
When asked about his nude, bum-flashing scene in the new movie, which hits cinemas here next Thursday, Dinklage piped up, straight-faced: "I was his extra body double."
After the laughter died down, Jackman continued: "I didn't know it was a full-body naked scene and I didn't feel very happy with my derriere, so Peter stepped in... I'm not gonna go on from there.
"There were a few extra lunges and squats done that morning. I can tell you the date - it was May 21. For a scene like that, it was like training for a marathon. I remember being so ready leading up to it, the training, the eating...
"Then the assistant director said the scene will be moved. I said, 'Here's the deal - you can do any scene you want on May 21, but I will be naked. It could be on the plane, the White House... I will have my clothes off."
Other Hugh Jackman quotes
When addressing the media at the start of the press conference:
"If you don't mind telling my two children that I'm very important, that would be great. They didn't get the memo."
On the character he would like his son Oscar, 14, to play if he were cast in an X-Men movie:
"Wolverine, father to son, I like a family business. Perfect choice."
On playing Wolverine in the latest movie:
"You will see a whole different side of him in the movie. He's more of a diplomat and a mentor."
On US star Channing Tatum, who will take on the role of Gambit in an X-Men spin-off movie:
"(Deadpan) I'm thrilled for him... I've never heard of him. Up and coming, yeah? Great dancer, good break for him. I, too, was new when I did it, so this is a big thing for him. Gambit has always been a fan favourite. I know there will be pressure on him, and the fans. He will get stopped for the rest of his life (with fans) telling him what they liked and what they didn't, but they are the best fans in the world."
On the significance of Wolverine in his life:
"People ask me all the time when I'm going to give it up. It's a very hard thing to imagine because it's very close to me. My son turns 14 tomorrow and he was born in the making of X-Men, so in a way, it feels like such a part of me."
On having a Vietnamese mutant in future movies:
"Oh didn't you know - Channing is playing one. We should tell Channing that, he could do it actually. (More seriously) Bring on Vietnamese mutants, why not? I love it."