Another new article, this one from The Irish Times. More standard information on Real Steel, along with Hugh’s Shakespearean aspirations in the future and the fear of not getting job offers. He also talks about the early days of getting noticed by photographers, at around at 30, and being prepared for it. If the excerpt below piques your interest, head over to the source to read more. It’s also been added to the press archive.
Minutes before I trip in to meet Hugh Jackman, I click on the website for Variety magazine. There he is on the home page. The venerable trade paper has announced that the suave Australian is to appear in a one-man show on Broadway. He’ll be singing, joking and hoofing. How quaint. You can’t quite imagine Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt shimmying their way through standards from Oklahoma or Paint Your Wagon. But Jackman, now 42, really is a very old-fashioned class of star.
“Oh mate, it is like the ultimate indulgence,” he says after pumping my hand warmly. “I can’t believe I am doing it. I have an 18-piece orchestra to play my favourite songs. I am really excited.”
Jackman displayed his musical theatre skills in 2009 when he won acclaim for his turn as host of the Oscars. It was a revealing performance. Nothing about it suggested we were looking at a man who cared about being cool. He looked gruffly charismatic as Wolverine in the X-Men films. He held his own against Nicole Kidman in Australia. But his main job is as (tad da!) an entertainer.
“I’m the youngest from a family of six,” he muses. “Mum always said, ‘You don’t have to stand on a chair to be noticed.’ I remember talking to John Travolta about this. He’s the youngest of five, and it is statistically incredible how many people in show biz are the youngest from multiple-kid families. You are used to people looking at you.”
If you can’t make it to Broadway, you can enjoy a rather more muscular incarnation of Jackman in an upcoming film entitled Real Steel. Shawn Levy’s drama, based on a story by Richard Matheson, is surprisingly diverting for a film about boxing robots. The picture, a shameless amalgam of The Champ and Rocky, finds Jackman playing impresario to the little cyborg that could.
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Yet another new article – this one from The Guardian – has been released, with an emphasis on Real Steel, The Wolverine, and Hugh’s early days as a performer. He tells the story about his brother calling him a “poof” again, this time equating his experience to being the “ten-minute Billy Elliot.” There’s some great insight into Hugh, both from himself and the reporter, so check out the excerpt below and then head over to the source to read more. It’s also been added to the press archive.
The day before I am due to interview Hugh Jackman, the Australian actor drops a tantalising hint on Twitter. “Hey tweeters, I have something exciting to announce soon,” he writes. “What could it be?” What indeed? I can’t help but think back to the last time I met him, shortly before the release in 2006 of The Prestige. Christopher Nolan’s thriller about two rival magicians (the other was Christian Bale) contains Jackman’s richest screen performance to date: he reveals hidden torment behind the conjuror’s curtain-calls-and-bouquets persona, one that he will know from his parallel career as a lead actor in musical theatre (an existence of which the majority of X-Men fans are probably oblivious).
The Prestige was a mystery wrapped in an enigma, then padlocked in a chest and dropped in the ocean. Some people think the same applies to Jackman. A friend took me aside and asked whether I really swallowed those “ordinary, boring family man” quotes fed to me by Jackman. Couldn’t I see this was a classic cover story? Jackman has encountered such talk over the years, and always has a smiling riposte at the ready: “You really know you’ve made it when the gay rumours start.”
I tell Jackman that his Twitter tease convinced me he was about to come out, and he humours this with a raucous laugh. Then again, some people would consider his eventual announcement – that he is bringing his one-man song-and-dance show to Broadway in mid-October – to be tantamount to bounding from the closet, anyway. He laughs at that, too, which is very game of him. He even throws in a slap of the thigh: his thigh, that is, not mine. It all makes for a cheerful alternative to the usual “No comment.”
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Even more updates on Les Miserables are slowly starting to surface, including confirmation of the January-February rehearsals and March start date for filming. In this article, Hugh mentions that they’ll start recording in January as well — very exciting! He also talks about being thrilled over working with Russell Crowe, more on Real Steel, “tricks” on making a red carpet appearance work, his ongoing desire to bring Carousel back to the screen in a new movie-musical adaptation, and he elaborates on a road trip he took with his family while visiting France in August. A fun, informative article that you can read in its entirety at the source. It’s also been added to the press archive.
“It’s happening,” said Hugh Jackman, confirming the film adaptation of the musical Les Miserables. Wolverine will keep his sideburns but will have to clip his claws for the role of Jean Valjean. Hugh will battle it out in song against fellow Australian star Russell Crowe who portrays Valjean’s nemesis, Inspector Javert.
“We’re shooting next March,” said Hugh in a recent chat. “We start rehearsals and recording in January and February. I’m actually going this month to start doing initial rehearsals. I auditioned hard and lobbied for the role. I went into a three-hour audition for Tom Hooper, the director.”
Hooper, who directed the award-winning The King’s Speech, also cast Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Helena Bonham Carter (Madame Thenardier) and Geoffrey Rush (Monsieur Thenardier).
Emma Watson was rumored to play Cosette in this film adaptation written by William Nicholson based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo, with Cameron Mackintosh as one of the producers. But recent reports deny that the Harry Potter actress is in the cast.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the casting of Russell as Javert,” Hugh said.
FOR MORE, GO HERE.
USA Today has published a new article highlighting Hugh’s efforts in Real Steel. Sugar Ray Leonard throws his two cents in on training Hugh to become a top fighter (“He delivered a punch… That’s all I care about,” he said of the RAW appearance). Director Shawn Levy and co-star Evangeline Lilly are also mentioned in the article. At the end, it might be worth checking out how Hugh has fared in other “battles” in life, including a locker and a drunkard at an English pub. Check out an excerpt below, or visit one of the two sources for the articles. They have both been added to the press archive.
“Ah, that smell,” he remarks as he wades into the musk amid the gym’s leather punching bags.
Did his nostrils flare just a little bit? Is the famous Jackman smile turning into a devious snarl? It’s not clear. But when he eyes his boxing opponent for the morning — a nervous reporter — the full animal reveals itself.
“Do you know what I did to the last guy I fought?” Jackman deadpans as the gloves are laced. “You best look out.”
The world should be on notice. Jackman, 42, has perfected his knockout punch to prepare for his role in Real Steel, opening Friday. He’s buff, he’s throwing punches (professional wrestler Dolph Ziggler took a Jackman blow to the jaw last month), and he has truly tapped into the sweet science. Jackman’s preparation for playing a washed-up fighter who finds redemption in training a boxing robot culminated in a master class with Sugar Ray Leonard. The legendary teacher (and film consultant) was impressed with his sparring student.
“For starters, he’s in great condition. Look at his body — it’s a thing of envy,” Leonard says. “If he had a boxing nickname, it would be ‘Sweet’ Hugh Jackman.”
FOR MORE, GO HERE AND/OR HERE.
A fun new interview by GQ was recently released, which actually doesn’t touch too much on Hugh’s upcoming movie, Real Steel. He was asked about his fashion sense (who is he wearing?), his karaoke song (The Rolling Stones, unsurprisingly), and what he treats himself to on the days he isn’t confined to the chicken-and-broccoli diet (hint: it’s an Italian dessert). Visit GQ’s website for the whole interview after reading an excerpt below. It has also been added to the press archive.
GQ.com: What was your last stylish purchase?
Hugh Jackman: This morning I had John Lobb come over. I’m so excited as I’ve been waiting two years to get them. For me that’s one of the great indulgences in life – a hand-tailored suit, and a great pair of handmade shoes. There’s no one better than John Lobb. I can’t wait to see them. Now I’ve had my lasts done, they keep them on file forever.
Where do you go for your suits?
Salvatore Ferragamo have done some nice handmade suits for me. Right now on this tour I’m wearing mainly Lanvin. I’ve also got a lot of suits made by this Italian guy from Napoli called Isaia. Not many people know the brand, but I know that George Clooney and Brad Pitt do. It’s almost like I’m not meant to tell anyone. You see, when you’re named “Sexiest Man Alive” you join this club, and the whole world opens up to you. [laughs]
You’ve just announced a new one-man show on Broadway. Are you planning on seeing anything in the West End while you’re here?
I’d love to go and see The Tempest with Ralph Fiennes in it. One of things I’d love to do one day is a Shakespeare with Trevor Nunn. I’ve done musicals with him, but never Shakespeare. There’s no one better.
FOR MORE, GO HERE.
Collider has released a few separate snippets from an interview with Hugh Jackman over the past week or so, but they’ve recently published the entire interview and a long audio (over twenty minutes) of it as well. Some of the information is repeated (information on Les Miserables has already been posted on HJF), but there’s some interesting tidbits in this new piece as well. I would highly recommend checking out the interview audio, especially around the 22-minute mark, for a brief Jean Valjean treat. Check out an excerpt below and visit the source for the entire thing. It has also been added to the press archive.
Question: Were you familiar with the Richard Matheson short story before shooting?
HUGH JACKMAN: I actually didn’t read it until about the second week of shooting, and it was Don Murphy who gave it to me. He said, “You’ve read it right?” I said, “Actually, no, I haven’t, but I’ve seen The Twilight Zone episode.” So, it was great to read it. I should have read it before I started. There’s some good stuff in it. It’s terrific. He was a great writer. I want to read more of his stuff.
What was it like working with Sugar Ray Leonard?
JACKMAN: Of all the things that he told me, and there were many, the thing that really affected me the most was his insistence about the importance of the corner man, which is effectively what I play. Not as much the fighter, but the corner man. And, he talked a lot about Angelo Dundee, and how he was the difference between winning and losing in some fights. He’d be behind the monitor for some scenes doing, endlessly doing right left. He looked over and said, “They will only believe these fights, if you and the corner are connected. You have to be the emotional strength. You have to be the wisdom. You have to be the spine of that fighter.” It was a great bit of advice.
Your character has a tough relationship with his son. Being a dad yourself, was it hard to do that?
JACKMAN: After a few days, (director) Shawn [Levy] actually pulled me and Dakota [Goyo] aside and said to both of us, “Look, Dakota, you’re a very well brought up and polite kid. Hugh, you genuinely like children. You’ve got to stop that, immediately. Go further. Keep going. I’ll tell you, if you’ve gone too far.” There were several times when he’d call cut, and I’d see Dakota look over to his mom, like he was going to get into trouble. “They told me to say this. It’s okay.” Because it obviously goes against the grain. Having said that, I do have two children and there are times you want to say things that you are not allowed to say, right? It was nice to be able to let them rip for three months. It was good therapy.
FOR MORE, GO HERE.