Patrick Stewart is bidding an emotional farewell to the X-Men franchise. The 76-year-old actor announced the news during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show with his co-star Hugh Jackman, saying he couldn't continue without his sidekick. Confirming that Logan will be his last X-Men flick, Patrick said: "I think it is the end for me too." Turning to Hugh and putting his hand on his shoulder, Patrick added: "Why would I want to have another go of it after what we have done in this movie?"
His decision to leave came about while Patrick and Hugh, 48, were on the promo trail for their new film Logan. "Last week we were at a screening in Berlin sitting next to each other and when it got to the very emotional ending and I noticed Hugh wipe away a tear, then I did the same and during the credits he held my hand and I was done, I was weeping and sobbing," said Patrick. "While the credits were rolling I realised that if it was the end, there was no more perfect and beautiful way to say, 'au revoir, goodbye, adios.'"
"Why would I want to have another go of it after what we have done in this movie?" said Patrick
Patrick and Hugh reprise their roles as Professor X and Logan aka Wolverine, respectively, in the new stand-alone X-Men film. The Englishman's decision to leave may come as a surprise to fans, who have seen Patrick star in the past few X-Men movies as the older incarnation of Professor X. James McAvoy has played the younger version of Patrick's character.
James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman have all regularly featured in the X-Men series
Hugh, meanwhile, opened up about his departure from the franchise. When asked if he will miss being Wolverine if the character is recast, Hugh said, "I think I will be fine" before joking: "But if I wake up one day and I find out Daniel Day Lewis is playing the part and he wins an Oscar I'm going to be a little upset!" Of his extreme exercise and diet regime for those memorable shirt-off scenes, Hugh added: "It's all about hydration and then dehydration to lose 10lbs in fluids. It's kind of not fun and you feel really bad, but the results are good... Do not try it at home!"
The Graham Norton Show airs on Friday 24 February on BBC One at 10:30pm.