Hugh Jackman as James Bond?

Why he turned down the iconic role

By LISA RESPERS FRANCE , CNN

Hugh Jackman apparently was neither shaken nor stirred by the possibility of playing James Bond.

In an interview with Variety, the actor said he was set to do "X-Men 2" when his agent approached him about possibly starring as 007.

"I just felt at the time that the scripts had become so unbelievable and crazy, and I felt like they needed to become grittier and real," Jackman said. " And the response was: 'Oh, you don't get a say. You just have to sign on.' I was also worried that between Bond and 'X-Men,' I'd never have time to do different things."

Instead he went on to star in the "X-Men" sequel, which came out in 2003, and Daniel Craig took over the Bond franchise from Pierce Brosnan.

Jackman, whose new film, "The Greatest Showman," is due in theaters December 20, said he tries to mix it up when it comes to his roles.

"But there was a time between 'X-Men 3' and the first Wolverine movie when I could see the roles getting smaller," he told Variety. "People wanted me to play that kind of hero part exclusively. It felt a little bit claustrophobic."

Avoiding being pigeonholed is part of the reason why Jackman has tried to make the move from playing Wolverine to other parts, including that of P.T. Barnum in his latest film.

The actor sings, dances and tries to embody all the larger-than-life pizazz that made the circus owner "the greatest showman."

"We like to say that we made the movie that Barnum would have liked to make," Jackman says.

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