Hugh Jackman

Halle Berry Hugh Jackman

In a nutshell...

We here at Citizen Caine are basically all about the Hugh Jackman-y goodness.

Let's face it: what's not to love? He's talented. He oozes more charisma from a single pore than you could wring out of Leonardo Di Caprio's whole body. As evidenced by the picture, he wears a towel well. He can sing. He's funny, witty and utterly charming.

And, unlike most Hollywood stars, he's tall. A 6'3" giant in a world of 5'8" midgets who make their female co-stars stand down-screen to fuel the illusion that they're as tall as their official biographies claim.

And, best of all, we know that there's plenty more to come from our Hugh. At the time of writing (May 2003), Hugh Jackman has starred in only 5 Hollywood movies - X-Men, Someone Like You (AKA Animal Attraction), Swordfish, Kate and Leopold and X2.

Where's he from?

Well, Hugh was born in Sydney, Australia on 10 October 1968, the youngest of five children. He got a degree in journalism from the University of New South Wales and studied acting at both the Actor's Centre in Sydney and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

After college, Hugh was rarely out of work, featuring in several Australian TV shows, including Law of the Land, The Man From Snowy River, Correlli, Blue Heelers and Halifax FP, as welll as two features: Paperback Hero (1998) and The Erskineville Kings (1999).

Is he available?

Sadly for many, Hugh met his wife, actress-director Deborra Lee-Furness, on the set of the Australian prison drama, Correlli. The couple married in 1996 and adopted a son, Oscar, in 2000.

Deborra is best known outside Australia for her role as Esther in Newsies (1992), an inexplicably popular musical starring Christian Bale. She directed her husband in Standing Room Only (2002).

What was his big break?

Having played Gaston in the Australian premiere production of Walt Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, he won the role of Joe Gillis in Trevor Nunn’s Australian season of Sunset Boulevard. Nunn was so impressed with our Hugh that he cast him as Curly in the National Theatre (London) production of Oklahoma (1999).

Although the show was prevented by Equity from transferring directly to Broadway with the original cast, Oklahoma was filmed for TV and DVD, raising Jackman's profile outside of Australia.

What have I seen him in?

Well, his early Australian TV and film work highlighted above occasionally appears in the UK schedules on satellite/cable channels at odd times in the morning, but your best bet is catching his US output.

His first job on reaching Hollywood? Some comic book movie called X-Men.

Ironically, Jackman was a replacement for original star, Dougray Scott, who was detained in Australia filming Mission Impossible 2. No matter what the producers intended, it was Jackman who emerged from X-Men as a huge A-list star, effectively silencing doubting fanboys who thought that some Australian musical theatre star couldn't possibly fill the boots of their beloved Wolverine.

Unfortunately, the three films sandwiched in between his two outings as Logan/Wolverine show that producers don't know what to do with Hugh when he's not in black leather. (The Citizen Caine househould has plenty of ideas to offer on what to do with Hugh in - or out - of black leather, if that's of any help.)

Someone Like You started out as Animal Husbandry and then Animal Attraction - the title it kept for its UK release - but changing names didn't help elevate this cliched rom-com from the waste-bin, although the pairing of Judd and Jackman is a lot more appetizing than the prospect of Ryan and Jackman on offer in Kate and Leopold.

Swordfish, meanwhile, was one part Hackers, one part Tarantino, all mixed up in a Michael Bay music-n-visuals package. One thing is for sure, it proved that Travolta was on his way out again, while Jackman's star was rising.

Skipping past the drippy nonsense that was Kate and Leopold, Jackman was back on form in 2003 with X2. Jackman fans will be pleased to note that X2 is pretty much all about Logan. Logan finds out how he came by his adamantium skeleton. Logan saves the kids at the school from certain death. Logan gets to snog Jean Grey. Logan runs down a corridor naked.

But, I'm getting carried away...

What next?

From September 2003, Jackman is starring on Broadway in The Boy From Oz, a musical about Australian singer/entertainer, Peter Allen, who was briefly married to Liza Minelli, won an Oscar for his contribution to the Theme from Arthur and died of an HIV-related illness in 1992.

Those who can't afford the trip to New York can wait till 2004 for Van Helsing, featuring Hugh as the titular vampire killer who's after not only Dracula, but the Wolfman and Frankenstein, too. It's directed by Stephen Sommer (The Mummy, The Mummy Returns) and co-stars Pearl Harbour's Kate Beckinsale and fellow Australian Richard Roxburgh (MI:2, Moulin Rouge)

After that, count on either X3 or a Wolverine spin-off hitting cinema screens in summer 2005.

Filmography

Van Helsing (2004)
X2 (2003)
Standing Room Only (2002)
Kate & Leopold (2001)
Swordfish (2001)
Someone Like You AKA Animal Attraction (2001)
X-Men (2000)
Erskineville Kings (1999)
Paperback Hero (1999)

Suggested links

Jackman's Landing - our favourite Hugh Jackman fansite
vanhelsing.net - Hugh's next movie
x-men-the-movie.com - official site of the X-Men movies