Friday, March 20, 2009

TheTVObserver: Hugh Jackman

He played an angry prisoner on the television series Correlli and went on to become an international film star on movies like X-men, Swordfish and Australia. Who can forget his performance on “The Boy From Oz”. TheTVObserver’s StarSpread presents Hugh Jackman.

Australian actor Hugh Michael Jackman was born on October 12, 1968 in Sydney, Australia. He is the youngest of the 5 children his English parentage had ever had before they got divorced when Jackman was eight years old. Since the divorce, her mother moved to England and left all of the five children in Australia to be raised by their accountant father.

After completed his education at Sydney University of Technology with a BA in Communications, having majored in journalism, Hugh Jackman joined "The Journey," a year acting program held at the Actors Centre in Sydney. Later on he studied drama at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), graduated in 1994 and was immediately offered a starring role in the ABC TV prison drama "Correlli" (1995).

During the filming of Correlli, where Hugh Jackman portrayed an angry prisoner who falls in love with his counselor, Jackman met his co-star Deborra-Lee Furness, whom he married with in February 1996. After their four-year marriage, Jackman and Furness adopted a son named Oscar Maximilian Jackman, born on May 15, 2000.

Since his great performance in Correlli, Hugh Jackman was inundated with the many offers to perform in television guest roles, either as an actor or variety host. Later on he was well known for the role of Gaston he played in the Melbourne production of a traditional folktale "Beauty and the Beast" and Joe Gillis role he portrayed in the same city's production of "Sunset Boulevard." Outside Australia, Jackman became very popular for the leading role of Curly he played in the Royal National Theatre's acclaimed stage production of "Oklahoma!" in London, for which he was nominated for a 1999 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for the 1998 season for Best Actor.

In 2000, Hugh Jackman got the "gold" chance replacing Dougray Scott who was originally cast as Wolverine in "X-Men" but was tied up on the set of "Mission: Impossible 2" for two additional months of shooting. Such offer was shortly followed by another opportunity to portray an Australian songwriter and performer, Peter Allen in "The Boy From Oz" for which Jackman proudly took home a Tony Award and named Best Actor in a Musical by Drama Desk in New York.

Jackman, at 6' 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 is. Jackman was also required to add a great deal of muscle for the role, and in preparing for the fourth film in the series, he bench-pressed over 300 pounds. An instant star upon the film's release, Jackman later reprised his role in 2003's X-Men 2, 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, due to be released in 2009

In 2008, director Baz Luhrmann cast Jackman to replace Russell Crowe as the male lead in his much-publicized epic film, Australia, which co-stars Nicole Kidman.

It is reported that Jackman said, "This is pretty much one of those roles that had me pinching myself all the way through the shoot. I got to shoot a big-budget, shamelessly old-fashioned romantic epic set against one of the most turbulent times in my native country's history, while, at the same time, celebrating that country's natural beauty, its people, its cultures.... I'll die a happy man knowing I've got this film on my CV."

Jackman produced and stars in the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine, due to be released in 2009.

An action drama, Drive, starring Jackman, is currently in production, and is scheduled to be released in 2009.

Jackman is also planned to star in a remake of Carousel, scheduled to be released in 2010, in which he will play Billy Bigelow.

Jackman was in talks to play Mark Antony in Steven Soderbergh's 3-D live-action rock 'n' roll musical about Cleopatra. However, as of January 2009, he withdrew from consideration.

An adaptation of Cecelia Ahern's novel If You Could See Me Now is in the works, starring Jackman as the invisible friend of a 6-year-old boy.

Jackman is also currently working on creating a new comic book series, Nowhere Man, with U.S. publisher Virgin Comics and writer Marc Guggenheim, with hopes of adapting it to a film as well.

In 2005, Jackman joined with longtime assistant John Palermo to form a production company, Seed Productions, whose first project was Viva Laughlin in 2007. Jackman's actress wife Deborra-Lee Furness is also involved in the company, and Palermo had three rings made with an inscription meaning "unity" for himself, Furness, and Jackman

Jackman was chosen as People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive of 2008.

In the ABC comedy-drama Scrubs, Dr. Cox mentions his seemingly irrational hatred of Jackman in his infamous rants throughout the series. On the 7th season of Punk'd Jackman was led to believe that he had accidentally blown up director Brett Ratner's house.

By TheTVObserver
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