HuffPo has released a new interview with Hugh Jackman, in which he discusses his big three movies that have been circulating in the press lately: Real Steel, Les Miserables, and The Wolverine. In this new press piece, he talks about working alongside life-size robots, the comparison between Wolverine and Charlie [Kenton], and more details on Les Mis (he confirms that he’s not yet positive whether or not Anne Hathaway will be in the picture). Check out an excerpt below and then hop over to the source to read more. It’s also been added to the press archive.
What was it like to have such massive, digital co-stars?
For my particular character, he was an ex-boxer, so the only game he knows is boxing, but the only boxing game is robots, so he’s doing it, but at the same time, he kind of hates it. It’s the very thing that took away what he loves and his livelihood I suppose, and he’s doing a pretty bad job of it. Somehow, his weird belief in these robots mirrors his return to believing in himself. I like that line where I’m talking to the robot and the kid sort of echoes my line, he says, ‘You know you’re talking to a robot, right?’ It’s a sort of great moment, because we had four, nine-foot animated, animatronic robots that we were working with. And the guys that controlled them with joysticks actually built them, but they’re really more like puppeteers than anything. You cannot talk to them while they have their hand on that joystick, they’re fully in that mode. If you watch the background of a movie, you’ll see them interacting, the robots’ heads are moving responding to conversations, they really did an amazing job.
Because you think of the robots as humans, it’s almost cruel to run them through these terrible fights.
Yeah, you’re right. It’s funny because my kids kept saying, ‘Is he alright? Is Adam going to be okay?’ He gets so pounded, and the design of those robots I think is ingenius, the way they did the scars on the front of their face plates, it looks faintly like maybe a mouth, and those eyes seem to have a soul to them. I know what you mean, I really kind of feel for that robot. When we tested the movie, it tested kind of through the roof. There’s three sort of main characters; there’s me, there’s Max and there’s Atom. And all three, including the robot, scored kind of in the same region. People really liked the robot.
You’re pretty good at playing a chip-on-the shoulder, angry guy. You’ve done that before; was it attractive to reprise?
This one I thought had more charm to him. He’s a bit of a hustler, he’s down and out, but he’s desperately trying to get himself out of that situation. So even though on one level, he’s sort of resigned to life, he’s always trying to hustle and move, and it felt different to me. I’ve never played a father, as well. And look, it’s a Dreamworks movie, it’s distributed on a worldwide level under Disney, and I sell my kid in the first 10 minutes of the movie; it’s not what you’d expect. And yet we still needed to make the audience be with me at the end, so that was the goal. So it was a real challenge.
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Many fans have been wondering about the fate of Unbound Captives, but finally a media source – MTV – has managed to ask Hugh Jackman a question on the project. He confirms that he’s still attached and that the movie has one of the best scripts he’s read in a long time, written by Madeleine Stowe. Unfortunately, he said that Hollywood has a hard time with westerns, so it’s not an easy sell. Check out the interview above.
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.
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