• Golden Globe Awards

Out of the Archives: Hugh Jackman on Acting

Hugh Jackman spoke about acting when he met with journalists of the Hollywood Foreign Press for X-Men (2000), where he played the mutant Wolverine.
“I grew up in a pretty big family, and I felt different all the time from my brothers and sisters, especially from about eleven to fourteen, but probably the most different I felt was when I started acting. None of my friends were into acting, no one really expected me to go into acting, in Australia, it’s a little bit weird.  When you say you’re going to give it a go, all your friends make fun of you, in a very affectionate kind of way.”
“I stopped drinking when I was thirteen, I thought that was enough because I was a pretty well-adjusted kid, but I had some anger there for a period. When my parents split up, I was angry about it, I was a bit of a nightmare, but I settled down by the time I was about fourteen.  At the end of the day, I worked it out pretty early that you don’t really do yourselves any favors by always being on the bad side of the line, so, if you can have as much fun as possible and still keep on the right side of the line, it ends up being the best of all worlds and that’s what I adopted.”
“When I was studying in acting groups, all the people I was acting with were hungover, smoking Raleigh cigarettes, wearing leather jackets, they were full of angst and carrying these burdens. There was lots of talk about how you’ve got to be tortured to be a good actor, a great artist. And I didn’t feel any of that, so I remember trying to reach down and pull some black hole out of me until I realized that that’s not what acting’s about at all. It’s more about being neutral so that you can take on whatever is required of you, whether you’re playing a Superhero in X-Men, or you’re singing on stage in a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical like Oklahoma, or acting in a romantic comedy.”
“Many of the English actors were the first ones that influenced me early on, that I looked up to. Ian McKellen, whom I’ve seen on stage many times, Ben Kingsley, Patrick Stewart and Judi Dench. Then, of course, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Among the actors of my generation, I like Edward Norton and in Australia Richard Roxburgh.”
“Like most Australians, I am very proud of our industry. I grew up with great respect for filmmakers like Peter Weir, Philip Noyce and Fred Schepisi, great actors like Jack Thompson, Judy Davis, Bryan Brown, these fantastic people who have inspired Russell Crowe, Heath Ledger, Rachel Griffiths, Toni Collette and myself. We have very high standards down there actually.”
“My wife, Deborra-Lee, is an actor, she’s done maybe 25 films. She trained in America and she was in Hollywood. Actually, one of the people who slept on her floor was Nicole Kidman. So, it’s not something new for Australians to work overseas, it has been going on for a while now.”