No more Mr Nice Guy for Hugh Jackman

No more Mr Nice Guy for Hugh Jackman
BADASS: (Left) Hugh Jackman with co-star Dev Patel (in green). The two share a hostile relationship in sci-fi thriller Chappie.

His days of playing nice are over.

That's what Hugh Jackman, reputed to be the nicest guy in Hollywood, is aiming for this year - and we'd better get used to it.

"It's time for me to delve into my shadowy side...that's where I'm heading!" he declared, chuckling.

The 46-year-old Australian actor was speaking to M via Skype from Berlin, where he was promoting his new movie Chappie with co-stars Dev Patel and Sigourney Weaver and writer-director Neill Blomkamp.

Forget all the heroic, charming roles Jackman has done on the big screen, such as Prince Leopold (Kate & Leopold), Jean Valjean (Les Miserables) or even Wolverine (X-Men).

In Blomkamp's latest sci-fi thriller, Jackman is the vicious and aggressive antagonist who has no qualms about killing anyone - and anything - that stands in his way.

Opening here tomorrow, Chappie is set in 2016, when Johannesburg is under the thumb of autonomous, robotic police droids, created by robotic genius Deon (Patel).

Jackman is Vincent Moore, a tough Aussie military engineer who is envious of Deon's success, and one who hates the idea of humans being rendered redundant and replaced by robots.

When he finds out Deon has created a thinking, feeling and self-aware robot named Chappie (played by Sharlto Copley through motion-capture), Vincent takes matters into his own hands and vows to destroy Chappie and those involved at all cost.

"It's awesome to play an Aussie villain...this is the real me, this is my time. My kids always think I'm the Aussie villain, well, most of the time!" said the father of a 14-year-old boy and nine-year-old girl, with a laugh.

"This year, you'll see more of me as a bad guy!" Jackman added, referring to his role as evil pirate Blackbeard in Pan, Joe Wright's re-imagining of the Peter Pan story, opening here on July 23.

Though Blomkamp didn't write Vincent specifically for Jackman, the South African film-maker envisioned the Hollywood superstar playing it.

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