LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hugh Jackman relied on his Wolverine alter ego to pack on muscle for the "X-Men" role, and he turned to the Oscars to slim back down.

The 40-year-old actor trained for a year to achieve his character's look.

"My goal was to make him look like an animal," a much leaner Jackman said recently. "I wanted people to be unnerved when they saw him."

Among the first to be unnerved? "Australia" director Baz Luhrmann.

Jackman was co-starring with Nicole Kidman in the epic love story when he started bulking up for "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

"Baz said, 'Mate, whatever you're eating, can you slow down a bit because I'm going to struggle to edit this together,'" Jackman recalled, adding that there are a few scenes in "Australia" where he's "beefier" than he ought to be.

The director had issues with Jackman's size again when the two collaborated on the opening song-and-dance number for the Academy Awards.

"Baz was like, 'You've got to lose weight ... You're too bulky,'" Jackman said.

Luckily, Jackman discovered the ideal weight-loss plan: "Singing and dancing is the greatest diet in the history of the planet," he said. "Well, that and performing in front of a billion people."

Despite the pressures of the Oscar performance, the gregarious actor said he'd take on the hosting task again without hesitation.

"I'd do it again if I was asked," Jackman said. "I loved every second of it."

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