Hugh Jackman Reveals Dafne Keen Wasn't Afraid To 'Bruise' Him To Land Logan Job


Audition stories can be some of the most interesting peeks into the world of moviemaking. It's frequently quite interesting how an actor's particular take on a performance wowed a director or producer, who how simple twists of fate can result in one actor getting a role, or another losing out. Generally speaking, injuring your co-star during an audition is probably frowned upon, but apparently, it's the thing that got Dafne Keen the role of Laura in Logan.

Logan director James Mangold was recently part of the recent trend of quarantine watch parties where fans got together and watched Logan, while Mangold posted interesting facts or thoughts about the film on social media. At one point, he is praising the work of Dafne Keen, who played Laura, giving her a lot of the credit for the fact that the movie works at all.

At that point, Hugh Jackman joined in the conversation, revealing that Dafne Keen hit him so hard during her audition that he ended up bruised. And that's when they knew they'd found their X-23.

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The movie is called Logan, but as both James Mangold and Hugh Jackman point out here, the movie is as much about the character of Laura, and much of the film is more about her than Logan. As such, finding the right actress was absolutely key to the film's success. Of course, finding a young actress to play Laura likely meant finding somebody largely unknown and potentially very new to acting.

Luckily, they found the right person in Dafne Keen. I suppose the feeling was that if she was willing to go so hard in the audition, they knew she wouldn't hold back during shooting, and they wanted to channel that drive into the character. Whatever it was that Hugh Jackman's bruised arm told them, it clearly worked.

So many people loved Dafne Keen's performance that the idea of seeing her return in a sequel is an idea that a lot of fans got behind. The character of X-23 has a strong comic book history that could have been drawn from for all sorts of different film ideas. Even James Mangold himself said he was interested in making that movie though he had no specific plans to do so at the time.

Unfortunately, with the acquisition of Fox by Disney and the ending of that particular cinematic universe, it's unlikely, though certainly not completely impossible, that such a movie will ever happen. Who knows. James Mangold is working on the new Indiana Jones movie for one subsidiary of Disney, maybe he'll endear himself enough that he'll get a chance to continue this story. If Deadpool has a chance to continue in the MCU, or at least adjacent to it, then maybe there's a chance for other characters, like X-23, to do the same.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.