Dec 4, 2012
Posting this article has been a bit delayed — it’s actually from November 30th, when Hugh Jackman spoke to Australia’s The Age. Although meant to be a feature piece on Rise of the Guardians, he does dip his toes into the subject of Les Mis. He talks a little about his childhood – that he was “quite fearful” – and his own children, Oscar and Ava, including their thoughts on paparazzi. Check out an excerpt below before heading to the source for more; it’s also been added to the press archive.
When I meet him, [Hugh] Jackman is rejoicing in having just had four days when he didn’t have to sing. X-Men fans probably don’t know it, but Jackman made his name in musicals; his leap from small Australian features and television series to the international stage came in 1998 with Oklahoma! in London, where director Trevor Nunn dared cast this Australian unknown as Curly and unleashed a new leading man in the process. In 2004, he won a Tony for his hit run of The Boy from Oz on Broadway. Late last year he had an even bigger hit with a one-man show of songs and stories. “I’ve been amazed at my career,” he says cheerfully. “I constantly feel blessed to have got what I’ve got. I kept saying, ‘If I could just do this for five years and make a living, that would be great.”
For months now, Jackman has been working on Les Misérables, the much-touted blockbuster adaptation of Schoenberg and Boublil’s hit musical, in which he leads a cast including Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Amanda Seyfried. He has been singing for 10 to 12 hours a day because the director, Tom Hooper of The King’s Speech fame, insists that everything be live. Tough, he agrees. “Like it should be. I mean, I’m playing Jean Valjean, which is like the King Lear of musicals. The span of his life, the songs, the range of the singing – it’s about a 2½-octave range – in every way, it pushes everyone to their limit.
“I think it’s something to do with the nature of the material. It’s about people under duress, at breaking point, and how people handle it. Ultimately, it is very elevating – it’s about the human spirit. So it should be like that.”
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