a former professional wrestler, Tyler Mane knows a thing
or two about playing big, over the top villains. Once
described by the San Diego Union Tribune as “A more
interesting brute than [Arnold] Schwarzenegger”, he
now gets the chance to play one of the greatest
super-villain icons from the Marvel Comics Universe,
in at six feet ten inches tall and two hundred and
seventy-five pounds, Mane at the very least has the
physical credentials needed to play a menacing beserker
mutant with razor-sharp claws.
guess being a professional wrestler has helped me
develop the bad guy image,” the Canadian born Mane
revealed via a Transatlantic ‘wire’.
it was for his skills as a former professional wrestler
that Mane was first approached by producers at 20th
Century Fox and Liberty Productions regarding his
availability for stunt work.
explains: “[They] wanted me to come in and discuss
doing some stunt work for the film. Bryan Singer
(X-Men’s director) had seen my picture and wanted to
meet me. So when he did see me he was like, ‘oh my
God! It’s Sabretooth!’
instead of me going to discuss doing stunts, I ended up
playing Sabretooth! So it was a very interesting
situation for me.”
becoming the first X-Men actor to be cast, Mane knew
that he would have to learn more about this new world he
was about to become a very big - in every sense of the
word - part of.
had seen some of the cartoons but I had never read the
comics, so I never really knew a lot about the X-Men,
which was probably a good thing; it would have psyched
me right out had I known it was such a huge comic book
and had been around for over thirty eight years!
went to a comic book store in the States and said: ‘I
need this comic book, the X-Men, do you have any of
the guy running the store laughed and pointed to the
four rows of comic books and said: ‘Yeah, these three
rows are all X-Men’. So I asked how many of them had
Sabretooth in them, and he laughed and said: ‘You
don’t know too much about this do you?’
wasn’t going to tell him that I was actually playing
the six-month shoot began last year, Mane spent a couple
of months in preparation for the role.
prep work meant getting ready for the prosthetics and
having the costume designed, In the movie I have got
prosthetics on my forehead, which comes right down to my
eyes. Then I have prosthetics on my hands, and also had
to wear wigs.
took me four hours to get into that costume, but it was
worth it because the people who are in the know about
the X-Men, especially those who know about Sabretooth,
said that the costume was very accurate.
the head of Marvel Comics couldn’t believe how close
to the actual comic my costume looked!”
it came time to shoot his fight scenes it transpired
that Mane’s training as a wrestler would only carry
him so far.
a professional wrestler helped with the stunt work to
some degree. But as most people know Sabretooth
doesn’t pile-drive or body slam people. He is more of
a slicer and slasher. So I had to learn to adapt to
those movements and to adapt to the character.
Especially as they did not want the character to
move like a wrestler or martial artist.
was an interesting process: you had the fight
choreographers who wanted him to move more like a cat.
And this was the way the fights were played out: with
that image and theme running through them. It was a long
process: we would work on things to see if they looked
good. We worked the angles so we could get even more of
the Sabretooth menace and image coming out.”
worked – Sabretooth was a real scary guy, and by not
being a confirmed ‘kill’, there’s every chance he
may turn up in the inevitable X-Men 2. Maybe next time
he’ll get to do more than just grunt. And hit people