Hugh Jackman: “There was a time I only got action movies” | Culture
In many of Hugh Jackman’s shots, the most important things happen off camera. Once, an elderly man sat quietly in a corner, waiting while Jackman worked, solving crosswords and Sudoku puzzles. Every now and then he looked up at Jackman just to signal him. His eyes always expressed the same thing – approval, support and pride. “He’s seen everything I’ve ever done. He never said a bad word about anything. A lot of what I am today is thanks to him,” said Jackman The guard in January. The man’s name was Christopher Jackman, Hugh’s father who died in Australia while Jackman played a father in London in his latest film. The son.
Jackman often uses the same word to describe his role in The son – personal. Director Florian Zeller’s feature film rocked Jackman’s life because his character Peter is confronted with the same beauty, disorientation and terror that all parents experience when raising children. At a September 2022 press conference at the Venice Film Festival, Jackman said it was a deeply touching role that led him to seek therapy during filming. In short, it changed his life. “Thanks to this film, I can now share my vulnerability with my children and see their relief [when I do]. I’ve thought a lot about my relationship with them and how much you help, push or let go. Being a parent means making mistakes – there is no more humbling role in life.”
At the Venice Film Festival, Zeller said he wasn’t sure at first if Jackman was right for the role. Jackman was a fixture People Magazine’s annual list of the 50 Most Beautiful People, an acclaimed Broadway star, the desirable Wolverine and an accomplished singer and dancer. He was everything common mortals envy Hollywood. However, Jackman sent Zeller a letter asking him for a starring role The son. Before their video call, Zeller had promised himself not to make impulsive decisions. Eight minutes into the meeting, Zeller offered Jackman the role.
“I don’t normally do that. But for some reason I wanted and needed this trip. It was the peak of the pandemic and we were all staying at home nervously. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I was probably untangling threads that had parallels with Peter [in The Son]’ Jackman said. His character’s story will resonate with many struggling parents who feel they are always behind in life, happiness, relationships and professional goals. He is a father taking care of two children, a newborn and a depressed teenager from a previous relationship. Fatherhood, everyday fears and mental health are the themes of a film that, for Jackman, is “about humanity.” Although critics scolded The sonthey mainly praised Jackman’s performance.
Jackman doesn’t care about the critics and often says he doesn’t read the reviews. And considering that the only thing Jackman’s father worried about when Hugh started acting was his son’s sensitivity. “He taught me really great values. He was never really interested in things like fame and money. He always encouraged education and good treatment of people and kept his word,” Jackman said The guard.
When Hugh was eight his mother left the family, but he fell in love with theater while visiting his mother in England. He began hitting the stages and film sets after his original dream of becoming an international journalist fizzled out. In one of his earliest roles, Jackman appeared in the 1995 Australian television series Correlli, which also starred his future wife, Deborra-Lee Furness. They have been together for over 25 years and have weathered trials like his recurring bouts of skin cancer and Deborra’s two miscarriages. The couple have two adopted children.
Jackman often describes his wife as the rock in his life, sustaining him as his career leapt from television to the big screen. A giant screen – Jackman made his film debut as Wolverine in the blockbuster X-Men (Bryan Singer, 2000). Despite all the sequels, Jackman’s prodigious gift helped him avoid typing. “I’ve never felt trapped,” he said. “There was a little time, in 2003 or 2004 I think, if I can remember, I was like, ‘Oh, I only get action movies.’ It was always a surprise to me, just like the musicals were a surprise. I’ve never felt like I’m picking things on purpose just to make sure I’m not sending a message like “I’m the action guy”, “I’m a music guy”. I’ve always benefited from diversity, but now I’m instinctive in my choices. It’s not planned that way and I’ve never had a more blatant example of it than this,” he said of his role in The son. Jackman will also return as Wolverine in the upcoming film dead pool 3
Jackman’s future is wide open as he has already proven he can do it all – superhero mega productions and challenging films with diverse filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve and Woody Allen. He can present award ceremonies, dance and perform in successful worldwide concert tours. But there are few things like children that keep a person grounded. According to IMDb, Jackman once overheard his son Oscar saying to a friend, “Enough about my dad, okay? The truth is, he’s nothing like Wolverine. He’s not cool, he’s not tough, he’s nothing like that.” He certainly seems like a better man than his most famous character. But like everyone, he had his moments of rebellion. Raised in a Christian family, Jackman drifted from his faith for a time. He also quenched the “explosive anger” he felt as a youth and is now known for his kindness. A guy who, according to IMDb, is accompanied on shoots by his wife and family and also quoted him as saying, “The best thing is a handwritten card. I don’t know where some of my awards are, but I can tell you exactly where these cards are. I value them the most.” And acting is something I love. But I don’t think it’s more of a challenge than teaching as an eight-year-old or going into another profession. I try not to make it more important than it is.”
At the Venice Film Festival press conference, Jackman reiterated the importance of work-life balance. He compared his job to coaching a professional soccer team. “It’s a very uncertain job as an artist. You don’t really know where the journey is going. You don’t sign up for a job knowing you’ve got the job for five years.” Between all the film and stage roles, that’s probably no longer true of Jackman’s career. But he always turns to the values he learned from his father. “The journey as an actor is a personal journey. I was more interested in the bigger questions in life than the idea of being famous or being successful.” Chris Jackman certainly made mistakes in raising Hugh – everyone does, after all. But his son still lives these values. What’s not to be proud of?
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