Brow Beat

Stephen Colbert and Hugh Jackman Remember Stan Lee

Stephen Colbert, an avowed Marvel Comics fan, paid tribute to Stan Lee in yesterday’s The Late Show along with his first guest Hugh Jackman. “We could use a little pick me up because today the world lost a legend,” said the host, before recounting all the things the Marvel Comics co-founder accomplished in his life and career. He had a hand in creating man of Marvel’s most famous characters, such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Black Panther, and he was also a WWII veteran and a screenwriter. “Thanks for all the stories, Stan,” he said, and added that, “I know you’re hearing this a lot today, but Excelsior.”

In an interview promoting his new movie, The Front Runner, Jackman remembered “Stan as a true gentleman who had this glint in his eye. He was a creative genius, he thought outside the box, he created a whole universe that changed the lives of many.” Including his own, he admits. Colbert wondered how, as M method actor, Jackman approached the role of the X-Man Wolverine, which he would end up playing for 17 years. “Embarrassingly,” Jackson answers, “I didn’t know what a wolverine was,” and he’d never read so much as a single Marvel comic. Initially, he thought it actually was a type of wolf and watched nature documentaries to prepare. He recounts the first time he showed up for rehearsal and tried to incorporate some of the wolf moves, which clearly confused the director. He admits, “It was a humiliating moment.”