Unleashing Wolverine's vulnerable side

A peace sign, not claws, from Hugh Jackman at the press conference in Seoul to promote The Wolverine.

SEOUL - Australian actor Hugh Jackman is often described in the media as one of the most amiable, down-to-earth stars around.

It turns out that playing the superhero Wolverine for 13 years has something to do with that.

At a press conference on Monday at the Grand Hyatt Seoul for his new movie, The Wolverine, the 44-year-old star says with a chuckle: "I think it's a very good thing to have played Wolverine for so many years because all of whatever anger inside of me is spent on set.

"I'm very nice and calm when I get home. I'm not a method actor. Wolverine does not enter my house."

Jokes aside, he says he is grateful to have played the brooding comic-book character for so long.

"This character marks the first American movie I ever made. It is the foundation of the great opportunities that I've had in the past 13 years, not only with this character but also others.

"I'm grateful for the part not only for what it has offered me, but also because I think it's one of the most interesting and complex comic-book characters out there. Maybe I'm a little biased."

The Wolverine is a superhero with lethal sharp metal claws and the ability to heal his own wounds and thus never dies.

Jackman first took on the role in Bryan Singer's ensemble superhero flick X-Men (2000), before playing the character again in sequels X2 (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). In 2009, his character got an entire film of his own in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Jackman takes the spotlight alone once more in The Wolverine, which takes place after the end of X-Men: The Last Stand.

The Wolverine is anguished over the fact that he had to kill his romantic love Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) in order to save the rest of the world. He goes to Tokyo, where he is given the opportunity by a top Japanese technology executive to give up his immortality.

Jackman says the "human aspect" of his character will be all the more apparent in the new film, which will see him physically vulnerable for the first time.

"All along, I felt what made Wolverine so interesting as a character is not just his superhuman strengths, his claws or healing ability, but also really the human side and it's a very human quality that makes him all the more formidable.

"It's the idea of this 'berserker rage' and what causes that is out of pain and loss and the burden of being who he is for the past 200 years.

"I love that conflict in him and I love being able to explore that in this film."

Following movie promotions for this film, the actor, who is married with two children, is back to unsheathing his claws as The Wolverine in X-Men: Days Of Future Past.

"That movie takes place in the future as well as the past, so we have this unique opportunity to have two actors play the same part - except for mine because I don't age."