Even the charms of Hugh Jackman were not enough to convince Evangeline Lilly to become an X-Man (or woman, as the case may be). Doing the promotional rounds for her new film, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Lilly revealed she once turned down Jackman’s pitch to have her join an X-Men film.
The request came while they were both working on the 2011 film Real Steel, she told the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
“[He] was like, ‘Hey, so, the X-Men guys are asking me if I would approach you because they know that you won’t talk to anybody,” she said. “They knew I was working with you and were interested to know if it would ever interest you to do an X-Men thing.”
Lilly didn’t need a lot of time to decide.
“I was like, ‘No. It doesn’t interest me. I’m not interested,’” she recalled. “I was like, ‘I feel like such a dick because I’m talking to an X-Men! The X-Men! And I’m telling him, ‘No that doesn’t appeal. Like, what?!’ I felt so rude!”
Lilly had experience in superhero turndowns. She spoke to Joss Whedon at one point about doing Wonder Woman.
“I think my impression, coming away from it, was I had no desire and he could tell,” Lilly said about the experience, noting that she was “too young to be that polite” to at least fake interest in the idea of becoming the DC character.
“It didn’t appeal and there was nothing about the meeting that, like, jazzed me or made me think like, ‘Oh, I’ve gotta do this.’ Nothing clicked. Nothing felt good,” she said. “I am way too authentic for my own good. I mean, it’s not good. If I am not impressed, you’ll know. And maybe you shouldn’t know sometimes.”
Lilly said she felt that Whedon didn’t like her attitude on that. “I was okay with that. I was okay with burning bridges,” she said. “I was okay with not having everyone in Hollywood wanna work with me.”
“I just always had to do what felt right for me,” she continued. “And honestly I wasn’t into superhero movies and that’s the main reason why, in both of these instances, I just kind of felt like I don’t know what I get out of this.”
Lilly said she didn’t get superhero movies, until her agent told her to actually
Lilly said she didn’t get superhero movies, until her agent told her to actually check them out.
“I often was very critical of them,” Lilly said. “Like, I was known to mock them and treat them as lower forms of entertainment until Marvel came around.”
She added, “When I did, I was like, ‘Oh, they’re doing something very different and very cool.’”