Hugh Jackman


Hugh Jackman

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Hugh Jackman (born 12 October 1968) is an Tony Award-winning and Emmy Award-winning Australian actor of film, theatre and television, known mostly for his roles in several major Hollywood films, including Van Helsing and X-Men.

Biography

Early life

Jackman was born in Pymble, Sydney, New South Wales, the youngest of five children of English-born parents Chris Jackman and Grace Watson. His mother left the family when he was eight years old, and he remained behind with his father, an accountant with a degree from Cambridge, and siblings.

Jackman attended Pymble Public School and Knox Grammar School, an all-boys school, where he starred in the musical My Fair Lady in 1985, directed by the headmaster, Dr. Ian Paterson. Jackman was School Captain in 1986 and his favourite subject was Ancient History. The following year he spent a gap year working at Uppingham School in England. Upon his return to Australia he worked at a Shell station in Wahroonga and worked as a part-time clown for children's parties while studying at the University of Technology, Sydney. In 1989, Jackman participated in a Christian workcamp on Hasst's Bluff and Areyonga Aboriginal land in the Western Desert in Central Australia. He then graduated with a BA in Communications, having majored in journalism. He later used his inheritance from his grandmother to attend the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts of Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia, from which he graduated in 1994.

Career

Australia

Jackman's early film work includes Erskineville Kings and Paperback Hero (1999), while his television work includes Correlli (where he met his wife Deborra-Lee Furness), Law of the Land, Halifax f.p., Blue Heelers, and Banjo Paterson's The Man from Snowy River (American title: Snowy River: The McGregor Saga).

On stage, Jackman played Gaston in the Melbourne production of Beauty and the Beast, and Joe Gillis in the same city's production of Sunset Boulevard. During his stage musical career in Melbourne, he starred in the 1998 Midsumma festival cabaret production Summa Cabaret. He also hosted both Melbourne's Carols by Candlelight and Sydney's Carols in the Domain.

In 2006, he was cast to replace Russell Crowe in Baz Luhrmann's Australia, starring opposite Nicole Kidman.

United Kingdom

He first became known outside of Australia when he played the leading role of Curly in the Royal National Theatre's acclaimed stage production of Oklahoma! in the West End during 1998. Jackman also appeared in a 1999 film version of the stage musical.

United States

In 2000, he was cast as Wolverine in Bryan Singer's X-Men, replacing Dougray Scott. According to a CBS interview in November 2006, Jackman's wife Deborra-Lee Furness told him not to take the role, a comment she later told him she was glad he ignored.

Jackman, at 6' 2 1/2", stands nearly a foot taller than Wolverine, who is said in the original comic book to be 5' 3". Hence, the filmmakers were frequently forced to shoot Jackman at unusual angles or only from the waist up to make him appear shorter than he actually was. In an interview with Men's Health magazine, he stated that he was also required to add a great deal of muscle for the role. An instant star upon the film's release, Jackman later reprised his role in 2003's X2: X-Men United, and 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand.

Jackman starred as Leopold in the 2001 romantic comedy film Kate & Leopold, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Jackman also starred in 2001 action/drama Swordfish, along with John Travolta, and Halle Berry. This would be the second time Jackman would work alongside with Berry, The two would work together twice again in the X-Men movies, making a total of four movies starring Jackman and Berry from 2000 to 2006.

Jackman sang the role of Billy Bigelow in Carousel in a special concert performance at Carnegie Hall in Manhattan, New York City in 2002. In 2004 he played the title role of vampire hunter Gabriel Van Helsing in Van Helsing. In 2004, Jackman won a Tony Award for his Broadway portrayal of Australian songwriter and performer Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz. He hosted the Tony Awards in 2003, 2004 and 2005, garnering very positive reviews. The televising of the 2004 awards earned him an Emmy Award win for Outstanding Individual Performer in a Variety, Musical or Comedy program in 2005.

In 2005 after his award-winning role in The Boy from Oz, Jackman began filming his most challenging role to date. Jackman played the part of three different characters in Darren Aronofsky's sci-fi experience The Fountain. As Tommy Creo a neuroscientist, Jackman played a man who was torn between his wife, Izzi (Rachel Weisz) who is dying of a brain tumor and his work at trying to cure her. As Captain Tomas Creo, a Spanish Conquistador in the year 1532, Savile, Spain who is seeking the mythical Tree of Life for his Queen, Isabel (also played by Weisz) in order to retain her throne. Tomas is a character in the book Izzi is writing called The Fountain, and finally, as the future space traveller Tom enclosed in a transparent treeship seeking to be reunited with Izzi within a dying star called Xibalba. Jackman has stated The Fountain was his most difficult role to date due to the physical and emotional demands his director asked of him in the part. In the end, The Fountain wasn't well received and Jackman went un-rewarded.

Not one to stop working, Jackman filmed The Prestige directed by Christopher Nolan and also starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Andy Serkis, and musician David Bowie. As Robert Angier, Jackman portrayed a magician who built up a rivalry with contemporary Alfred Borden in attempt to 'one up' each other in the art of deception. Jackman stated his main reason for doing The Prestige was to work with David Bowie, who played scientist Nikola Tesla. He also starred in another 2006 film with Scarlett Johansson, Woody Allen's Scoop.

Jackman rounded out 2006 with two animated films: Happy Feet in which he voiced the part of Memphis, an Emperor Penguin and directed by George Miller, and Flushed Away where Jackman also supplied the voice of a rat named Roddy who ends up being flushed down his Kensington family's toilet into the London sewer system. Flushed Away also starred Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen (the fourth time Jackman has worked with him), Jean Reno, Andy Serkis and Bill Nighy.

In 2007, Jackman produced and guest starred in the unsuccessful television drama Viva Laughlin. Viva Laughlin was cancelled by CBS after only two episodes. A decision about the remaining episodes already filmed at the time of cancellation has yet to be made. Both Jackman and his wife Furness were shocked and saddened by this cancellation.

Jackman is also preparing a number of movies which he will both produce and star in, including Wolverine, estimated to begin filming in early 2008, and a remake of Carousel in which he will play Billy Bigelow.

Jackman was also one of the choices to play James Bond but eventually lost out to Daniel Craig.

He is also currently working on a new comic series, Nowhere Man, with US publisher Virgin Comics and writer Marc Guggenheim.

Personal life

Jackman married actress Deborra-Lee Furness in April 1996. They met on the set of his first TV acting job in Correlli, an Australian television series. Furness had two miscarriages, after which she and Jackman adopted two children, Oscar Maximillian (b. May 15, 2000) and Ava Eliot (b. July 10, 2005). They currently live in Melbourne. Jackman personally designed an engagement ring for Furness, and their wedding rings bore the Sanskrit inscription "Om paramar mainamar", translated by Furness as "we dedicate our union to a greater source".

In 2005, Jackman joined with longtime assistant John Palermo to form a production company, Seed Productions, whose first project was Viva Laughlin in 2007. Furness is also involved in the company, and Palermo had three rings made with an inscription meaning "unity" for himself, Furness, and Jackman. About the trio's collaboration Jackman reports "I'm very lucky in the partners I work with in my life, Deb and John Palermo. It really works. We all have different strengths. I love it. It's very exciting".

Jackman is a longtime supporter of Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, a Rugby League club based in Sydney. (Credit: Wikipedia).

 

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Hugh Jackman announces $100,000 Twitter charity competition, by Andrew Ramadge - 15th April 2009
(Credit: News.com.au)

Hugh Jackman has announced a competition to donate $100,000 to a charity of the winner’s choice — as long as they can make their case in 140 characters.

“I will donate 100K to one individual’s favorite non profit organization.Of course,you must convince me why by using 140 characters or less,” he said, with atrocious spelling, on Twitter this morning.

The competition is probably a stunt to make up for a public relations gaffe last week, after it was revealed that an American staffer updated the actor’s Twitter page.

Referring to the Opera House as the “Opera Center” was what gave it away.

Anyway, even if the charity competition is a stunt, it’s a pretty cool one.


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