LOS ANGELES — Lynn Collins had little time to think once she was cast as Kayla Silverfox, the love interest in the new summer action film “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
“When I got the job, within 72 hours, I was on a cliff in my underwear kissing Hugh Jackman in New Zealand. I had no time to prepare,” Collins says during an interview at the 20th Century Fox lot.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Will.i.am, Ryan Reynolds
(Fox; US theatrical: 1 May 2009 (General release); UK theatrical: 29 Apr 2009 (General release); 2008)
The Texas native was already nervous about being cast in the biggest movie of her career — she is the only major female character in the film. She’s appeared in an assortment of television and film roles — from “True Blood” and “The Lake House” — but nothing compared to the kind of notice she’s going to get from “Wolverine.” She felt like she was representing the entire female audience.
All that pressure looked like it was about to overflow when early in the filming Jackman told her there was a problem with the early footage: Her outfits weren’t skimpy enough.
That made sense. Collins’ character is supposed to be alluring enough to win the heart of Wolverine.
“So, I was like, ‘(expletive deleted). OK. Whatever.’ He was like, ‘So, we found something for you. We put it in your trailer. Can you please try it on?’” Collins says.
She went to her trailer and found a tiny silver Spandex dress — which she describes by forming a box with her hands. The dress was so tiny it didn’t cover everything that needed to be covered. Collins had a panic attack.
Finally, after some clever adjustments of the material, she emerged from her trailer.
“I opened the door and everybody was cracking up. Hugh said, ‘April Fool’s,’” Collins says. “I finally decided it was OK because I didn’t have to wear the green-and-black outfits Kayla Silverfox has had to wear in some of the comics.”
Collins’ familiarity with the character doesn’t come from growing up as a comic reader. Friends have filled her in on the character’s legend.
Collins spent her youth living in both Houston and Singapore because of her father’s work in the oil business.
She always wanted to be an actress. The dark-haired beauty had to fend off efforts by her mother to go into the beauty pageant world so she could follow an acting career path.
“I went to a private school in Singapore and they had an incredible arts program,” Collins says. “Every day I was doing something artistic. When I got back to Texas I began to get involved in drama competitions.”
That start taught her a lot about acting. It didn’t prepare her for what to do when a film’s star and producer suggests a piece of wardrobe better suited for a Barbie doll.
Jackman praises her for how she handled the practical joke and the role.
“I love that you put it on and didn’t slap me in the face,” Jackman says to Collins. “Lynn plays a character, and fulfills a role, that was so vital to this movie. She did an amazing job. I was really proud of what she did.”