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Feature: Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman

It’s not very often a girl gets a date with a Wolverine. And it’s certainly an opportunity not to be missed. So, we sat down with Hugh Jackman to talk about everything from why he wouldn’t be seen dead in the tabloids, to life after X-Men

It’s a rare moment. Hollywood A-lister Hugh Jackman is, momentarily, lost for words. “I really don’t know,” is his reticent response when asked exactly what it feels like to be an international sex symbol. “It really only comes up in questions like this!” But surely the star, who has shot to fame thanks to his role as the rough and ready superpowered mutant Wolverine in the X-Men graphic novel adaptation franchise, can’t be completely unaware of his huge fanbase – who, to be honest, aren’t only interested in his acting talents. “I don’t go on the Internet, trust me,” he laughs. “It’s sort of surreal though. I try not to pay attention to it.”

On some of cinema’s most famous personalities, this humbleness would be cloying; on Jackman, however, it is entirely genuine. He is one of the most down-to-earth and grounded actors working in the self-obsessed environment of modern Hollywood and it’s this boy-next-door approachability, plus his obvious talents (and, of course, those even more obvious looks), that have seen his popularity explode over the last couple of years. He must certainly be one of the most in demand stars today; not only is he busy doing the publicity rounds for the DVD release of X-Men: The Last Stand (reviewed on page 122), but he’s also got more than 10 cinematic projects on his slate – more of those later – not to mention continuing his stage career with news that he is to produce and star in a remake of the classic musical Carousel. Not bad for a boy from Sydney, Australia who, just 10 years ago was making do with bit parts in TV shows like Blue Heelers and Snowy River: The McGregor Saga.

Jackman has absolutely no doubt that it was being cast as Wolverine in Bryan Singer’s 2000 action adventure X-Men that launched his big screen career – and, as he explains, it was a role he very nearly didn’t get.

“Dougray Scott was originally cast [as Wolverine], but he was doing Mission: Impossible in Australia and filming ran over. They kept thinking he was going to return, then all of a sudden rumours started that he may not, but the director still wanted him. Three weeks into filming I was sent over to test [for the role]. Bryan [Singer] was like, ‘Hi, good to meet you but you’re not doing this role because I already have someone’. So I read for three minutes and flew back home thinking, ‘Well this is not happening’. Three days later the official word arrived that one of their leads was not cast.”

by Nikki Baughan

Read the full interview in
Film Review (Nov)

Photo © 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Feature © Visual Imagination 2006. Not for reproduction

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Film Review (Nov), see below for ordering options
Film Review (Nov)
#676, November 2006
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