Category: Articles

George Clooney to Host MPTF’s 95th Anniversary Celebration With Michael Douglas, Hugh Jackman

George Clooney is set to host “Hollywood’s Night Under the Stars,” a 95th birthday party fundraiser for the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the entertainment industry’s philanthropy announced this morning.

The Oct. 1 event at the MPTF’s Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills, California, is notable because the general public can purchase tickets to rub shoulders with confirmed guests including Matt Bomer, Yvette Nicole Brown, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jane Lynch and Hugh Jackman amongst others. The “get-in” ticket price is $375.

Outgoing 20th Century Fox Studios chief Jim Gianopulos and wife Ann chair the evening.

This marks a change to the MPTF’s default fundraising template, that has traditionally been a star-packed, media-free, A-list stuffed “Evening Before” and “Night Before” parties hours before the Emmys and Oscars at venues such as the Beverly Hills Hotel or sequestered city blocks in Century City.

These invite-only fundraisers have been off limits to all but those who have achieved household name status and a corp of gatekeeper executives who helped them get there, led by MPTF’s fundraiser-in-chief Jeffrey Katzenberg.

The MPTF’s mission is caring for stars and crew of decades’ past whose lives are “not always sunglasses and autographs,” as Douglas explained at an April MPTF fundraiser. The charity provides vital housing and support services for senior citizens and palliative care for those who made their living in “the biz.”

Others on the billing block for the upcoming Oct. 1 event include Richard Jay-Alexander, who just co-directed Barbra Streisand‘s summer concert tour. Jay-Alexander will be the maestro behind the night’s musical performances and special presentations.

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Hugh Launches the Jackman Furness Foundation

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In Perth, Australia, on May 17th, Hugh Jackman helped launched his newest philanthropical effort: the Jackman Furness Foundation for the Performing Arts. At WA Academy’s Mt. Lawley campus, he celebrating the importance of (performing) arts education — and how his time at WAAPA left a great impact on his career.

Hugh announced that he and wife Deborra-Lee Furness would be donating $1 million to the foundation – which will help groom future acting talents – matching a donation by Andrew Forrest. This, on top of the $10 million fundraising goal they hope to reach within the next four years. Check out some quotes from Perth Now below:

“Nothing could make me happier [than giving back],” [Hugh Jackman] said. “I can tell you with absolute certainty: there is no way my career would be what it is or that I would be standing in this capacity on this stage if it wasn’t for this institution of WAAPA. It is unique; there is nowhere like it in the world, and everyone in our business knows about WAAPA and I want it to be treasured here, in this state, as much as it is around the world.”

Jackman said he wanted to avoid discussions concerning the lack of government funding to the arts and, instead, “focus on being part of the solution.”

“This is a marathon and we hope to be here for the long haul,” he said.

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To close the launch, Hugh Jackman joined several current students of WAAPA on stage to sing Peter Allen’s “I Still Call Australia Home” — a staple among Hugh’s performances. Others in attendance included Adam Gilchrist, Colin Barnett, and Aurelio Costarella. Perth Now has the following comments from others who were at the launch (including a former teacher) on Hugh’s generosity:

Former head of acting, Chris Edmund, who directed and taught Jackman between 1992-94, said Jackman’s commitment WAAPA was “extraordinary. He didn’t have to do this.” Edmund, who retired last year after 30 years with the prestigious academy, said Jackman’s support was “guaranteeing the longevity of WAAPA.”

Stephanie Power, who was two years ahead of Jackman in WAAPA’s acting course and remains friends with the actor, said the foundation’s support was crucial. “It’s very important to WAAPA because I think basically without it we’re just going to fold,” Power said. “This will maintain WAAPA as a drama school and maintain its standing in the world [and] I think without the foundation, WAAPA has a death knell.”

Power, who runs WAAPA’s photo archives, said she remembers a “gangly,” gutsy, and fresh-faced Hugh Jackman arriving WAAPA with an unrivalled energy and enthusiasm.

“When I graduated, he found my first place that I lived in,” she said. “If you went to him and said you had a problem he would go, ‘Let me see what I can do.’

“I will tear up. He is the nicest guy; he’s a beautiful, beautiful man who has a heart of gold.”

Virgin Trains’ ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Unwrapping

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X-Men: Days of Future Past might still be two months away from hitting theaters, but that isn’t stopping Fox from doing some early promotional work for the movie. Hugh Jackman and James McAvoy joined forces in London earlier today, March 31st, to help Virgin unveil a new train sporting an array of iconic mutants. Photos from the event have been added to the gallery. Check out an article about the “unwrapping” below (including some quotes from Hugh), as well a couple of videos below the cut.

Hugh, 45, admitted getting a train with his face emblazoned on it was a far cry from his earlier days when he backpacked around Europe.

“It’s some sort of wish fulfilment in life, when you’re a young boy, to walk onto your own train. I pretty much lived on trains (before), because when I was 18, I got an InterRail card. It was about £250 and I was on £10 a day, so we slept on trains,” he said.

“I was that smelly guy in the corner, just outside the bathroom that people would have to step over. I would be swearing and drinking with my mates, so I got kicked off from many a train.”

The Australian actor joked about his co-star appearing on the first class carriage, with his own carriage located further back, saying: “I think it’s totally appropriate that he’s first class and I’m way up the back. It’s pretty wild.”

[. . .]

“It is epic-ness, it is huge on a scale, not just visually but emotionally. Character and relationship-wise, it is quite epic with what we all go through,” James teased.

Hugh added: “It is massive. It is by far the biggest. I had this unbelievable opportunity to work with not only James, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence, but the older actors playing the same characters – Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Ellen Page. It was unbelievable, and the story is intricate. It is fun, it is massive and I think it is going to deliver beyond what people expect.”

SOURCE: YAHOO! UK

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Vulture’s 100 Most Valuable Stars of 2013

Vulture recently released their annual list of the 100 Most Valuable Stars — and Hugh Jackman made an appearance. At #11, he is up 20 places from last year’s position. His stats include a studio value of 9/10, 73% likeablity (that’s all?!), 55 on the critics’ score, and a tabloid value of 7/10. Stars ahead of Hugh include (in order, from 1-10) Robert Downey Jr, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Christian Bale, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, and Johnny Depp. Read what Vulture had to say about Hugh:

11. Hugh Jackman
THE ENTERTAINER

He rises on this list by mixing genres and making blockbusters that are especially powerful overseas.

Hugh Jackman has surged over the past year: On our 2013 Most Valuable Stars list, he was ranked a genial No. 31, but this year, he nearly threatened to storm the top ten. It’d be hard to think of someone more deserving, since Jackman has had a pretty phenomenal twelve months. Last winter, he won his first Oscar nomination for Les Misérables, which took in $441 million worldwide, his second biggest hit ever. This summer, U.S. audiences were just so-so on his X flick The Wolverine, which made a disappointing $131 million here… but overseas, it was the biggest X-Men film ever, taking in $242.8 million. Even Prisoners, a relentlessly bleak kidnapped-kids drama, has thus far taken in $76 million worldwide.

But there’s more to draw from Jackman’s last year than box-office receipts. Few actors can prove so convincing in action, drama, and musicals, and Jackman pulled it all off within nine months, promoting each film with grinning brio. In an era during which new stars are hard to come by, he puts in the sort of globe-trotting promotional time that used to be the sole provenance of Will Smith and Tom Cruise. That’s won him high awareness and likability scores; it’s also prompted studio executives to assign the same points to Jackman that they do Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie. Jackman always looked the part of an A-list superstar; now, it seems, his career has finally caught up with him.

Modern Luxury: Taking No Prisoners

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Hugh Jackman is currently featured in Modern Luxury: Manhattan, talking about his latest film, Prisoners. You can read the article below, in which he touches upon parenthood a lot: what it means to be a “celebrity child” and how his children dictate what films he chooses now. (He also mentions both Oscar and Ava’s inclination to take the stage.) There’s, of course, some talk about his diet and the food restrictions he faces when working on movies like X-Men: Days of Future Past. And even if you’re uninterested in the words, there’s a pretty fantastic photo shoot that comes hand-in-hand with the feature, which you can view in the HJF gallery.

Hugh Jackman, the beyond-charming Australian-born actor, has come a long way from his first—and worst—job “inside a koala suit in the summer, in Sydney, for 12 bucks an hour, running around promoting the national park and wildlife foundation,” as he describes it.

Jackman received an Oscar nod last year for his rendition of the courageous protagonist, Jean Valjean, of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, about which he says, “Getting that recognition from your peers is very, very satisfying.”

But, of course, Jackman isn’t just a thespian. His range is far-reaching. He’s an incredible dancer and singer—talents that earned him a Best Actor Tony Award for The Boy From Oz, his favorite role to date. “It was about the excitement of being able to ad-lib every night,” he says. “Plus, I could be way kinkier and naughtier as Peter Allen.”

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Hugh is “at Peace” with Wolverine

There’s a great, long article with Hugh Jackman in The Times. In it, he talks about his future as Wolverine — and whether or not it’s his decision to make more movies as the beloved X-Men character. He talks about his latest thriller, Prisoners, and the deliberate choice the filmmakers made with regards to the film’s commentary on violence (including how it ties into current political affairs).

Along with the talk of his films, there are a few scattered moments throughout the article that touches upon his personality. How does Hugh feel about being a multimillionaire? Although he’s not sentimental with photos, which one did Hugh recently keep in his collection? There’s also confirmation that Hugh’s next film will be Chappie, a Neill Blomkamp-directed sci-fi with hints of comedy that will shoot in South Africa early next year.

Hugh Jackman is wincing in his seat. We’re barely ten minutes into our interview time and the 44-year-old Australian, famed for his Oscar-nominated turn in Les Misérables as much for his muscular weight-gains in the X-Men movies, is grappling with the thorniest and most pressing issue of his career to date — whether or not to retire his trademark comic-book action hero, Wolverine, a role that is beloved by global audiences, has so far bagged £1.18 billion at the box office (from five movies), and yet, you suspect, is something of a creative dead end for the increasingly versatile actor.

“Right now, I’m not making that decision,” he says, haltingly, like someone who’s going to make that decision, just not right now. “Although I will say that I was proud of the most recent movie [The Wolverine]. And so if there is no more Wolverine, and that’s the end of it, then I’ll be at peace.”

He suggests that the decision itself is, technically, not his to make (“90% of the choice belongs to the studio!”), but also notes, with some finality, “What I do know, however, is that great parts can outlive the actors who play them. Superman. Batman. And Wolverine. So someone else will play him. For sure.”

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