Hugh Jackman: Russell Crowe Helped Me Get Wolverine - By Turning It Down

Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman -- Getty Images

Hugh Jackman has revealed that his "Les Miserables" co-star, Russell Crowe, was the original choice for the role of "X-Men" character Wolverine.

"Russell has given me advice several times at key moments in my life that helped with my career. I also owe him because two of the biggest roles I've ever had in my life, he turned down - and suggested me for them," the actor told Entertainment Weekly in a new interview with the mag, to promote "Les Miserbales."

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"On 'X-Men,' he was Bryan Singer's first choice for Wolverine," Hugh continued. "And he mentioned me also for [Baz Luhrmann's] 'Australia.'"

The two Australian actors play rivals in "Les Miserables" - Hugh as Jean Valjean and Russell as Javert - but in real life, teaming up for the project brought them closer as friends and helped them create better performances.

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"We really pushed each other," he told the mag. "That rivalry at the beginning, it really is a constant throughout. It had to be strong, and it's really one of the spines of the story, that runs from beginning to end."

Anne Hathaway, who plays the prostitute Fantine in the film, said it was a role she's been close to since a young age -- she told EW her mother was in a touring production of the musical.

"My first experience was seeing my mom in the show. I was 7 and she was cast in the first national tour as the factory girl who gets Fantine fired. And she [understudied] for Fantine," the actress told the mag. "So my first time seeing the show was when she was the factory girl, and my second time seeing the show was when she played Fantine."

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"Les Miserables" hits theaters on December 25.

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