Dafne Keen was hired for 'Logan' after she punched Hugh Jackman

Gregory Wakeman
Contributor
Was Dafne Keen the best part of Logan? James Mangold certainly seems to think so (Image by 20th Century Fox)

Logan is widely regarded as one of the best superhero movies ever created. 

The writing and direction of James Mangold and the performances of Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in their final installments to the X-Men franchise drew huge acclaim immediately upon its release back in 2017. 

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Mangold and his fellow co-writers Scott Frank and Michael Green were duly rewarded with a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination at the 90th Academy Awards for their work on Logan, which made it the first ever live-action superhero movie to nominated in this category.

But during a recent re-watch of Logan, Mangold made sure to point out to his followers that one of the main reasons why the blockbuster works so well is the performance of Dafne Keen as X-23, who was just 12-year-old when the film was released. 

Hugh Jackman was surprisingly pleased when he got punched by Dafne Keen (Image by 20th Century Fox)

“There’s no way this film works [without] the remarkable [Dafne] Keen. By the film’s 2nd half, the tables have turned & she is carrying the entire movie as Logan has retreated in sickness & self doubt. [And] of course, she holds the final frame.”

This provoked Hugh Jackman to recall Keen’s casting, with the Australian revealing that she landed the part after she punched him so hard in the arm that he ended up with a bruise. 

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“When [James Mangold] came up [with] the character of Laura, and that the movie was in essence about family we were worried about finding the right fit. Until we met [Dafne Keen]. The first day we auditioned her … she punched me in the arm so hard, I was literally bruised the next day. Hired.”

You can check out Jackman and Mangold’s Twitter conversation in full below.