Category: Articles

Jean Valjean Will Be “a Hard One to Leave,” says Hugh

ABC News has posted a new article on Hugh Jackman, in which he talks a bit about being a first-time Academy Award nominee (and whether he prefers that to hosting the prestigious ceremony). He also says that he “really love[d] playing” Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, and that the character will be “a hard one to leave.” Check out an excerpt below before heading to the source for more.

This year, [Hugh] Jackman is an Academy Awards nominee, but he has hosted the event.

“I love the Oscars,” he said. “I’ve always loved it from a kid. Hosting it, I loved it. I love somehow the pageantry of it. I love the, you know, the spontaneity of it and the show of it. I really enjoy it. So the great thing about being a nominee is that you get a pretty good seat, I am figuring… if I’m up in the mezzanine, there’s a very good chance I won’t be winning.”

Asked what advice he’d give to this year’s host, Seth McFarlane, Jackman replied: “I’ve got to be honest with you. Having hosted the Oscars, being a nominee? Walk in the park.”

Jackman has been married to actress Deborra-Lee Furness for 16 years, and they have two children. Family is a priority for Jackman, and he said he learned that from his own father, whom he called “the closest living example I know to Jean Valjean.”

“The one thing he constantly reminds me about – enjoy the celebration, and all of that – but at the end of the day, make sure your family are okay. Make sure the people around you are okay. And just make sure you are doing the right thing inside,” Jackman said, speaking of his father’s advice.


Hugh Talks to the Hollywood Reporter on Childhood and Hollywood Friendships

The Hollywood Reporter has a brand new issue out — and Hugh Jackman is on the cover! The feature article inside is lengthy and incredibly informative, revealing some previously unhidden aspects of Hugh’s personal and professional life. He talks of his childhood, Hollywood friendships, goes into detail on his religious and spiritual views, and discusses the role of Jean Valjean. (He confirms there’s no immediate plans following X-Men: Days of Future Past, so it sounds like he’ll be spending time with family.) There’s also a great photo shoot and related video attached, so be sure to check them out.

Sitting at the Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills, [Hugh] Jackman reveals himself to be a far more complex and far-ranging figure than many of his peers realize. As he gobbles down a breakfast of oatmeal, wheat toast and a five-egg omelet – muscling up for his next movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, in which he returns as Wolverine for the sixth time – he adds to this impression by discussing a turbulent past that still lingers with him.

Open and immensely likable, he describes being 8 years old when his mother, Grace, abandoned him and his four elder siblings, leaving them in Sydney with their father, Christopher. His mother’s departure never was fully explained to him, and indeed Jackman only realized it was permanent when he was 13 and his father’s attempt at a reconciliation failed.


Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway Cover ‘Celebs’

Scans courtesy of Hugh Jackman Fan Site.

With many thanks to Jody, HJF now has scans from a Les Misérables feature article in Celebs. The issue was published in January and contains interviews with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway along with details on some other cast members. It’s worth checking out if you want some more background information on the production of Les Mis.

‘Les Misérables’ Press Round-Up: Articles & Interviews

There have been so many Les Misérables articles and interviews recently that it’s be a bit tough to catch up. Not to mention, a lot of them repeat information so individual updates almost seem redundant. Because I know I’m a bit behind, however, I figure I’d include a “round-up” of some recent press featuring Hugh. Some of these are in the press archive, though I strongly encourage you to visit the original source to read the material anyway. Those marked with an asterisk (*) are recommended:

The Blade * (2012 DECEMBER 16)
Hugh Jackman Turning Heads for His Performance in Les Misérables

HitFix (2012 DECEMBER 19)
Hugh Jackman says Training for Les Misérables Was as Hard as Any Wolverine Film

Inquirer Entertainment (2012 DECEMBER 20)
Hugh Jackman Reveals the Things He Can’t Do

Collider * (2012 DECEMBER 23)
Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, and Samantha Barks Talk Les Misérables, Singing, and Bonding on Set

New York Post (2012 DECEMBER 23)
Happy Hugh Year!

Parade * (2012 DECEMBER 23)
Wishing Hugh a Merry Christmas

Vulture (2012 DECEMBER 26)
Hugh Jackman on Les Misérables, His Brutal Training Regimen, and His Javert Past

Los Angeles Times (2012 DECEMBER 27)
Les Miz: Hugh Jackman Prepped with Weights, Washcloths, Desire

Hugh Jackman: Les Miz‘s Leading Man Talks to TIME

Museum of Moving Image Salutes Hugh Jackman

Earlier this evening, December 11th, Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-Lee Furness headed to Cipriani for an extravagant evening. The Museum of Moving Image was honoring Hugh and helping raise money for the museum’s programs, exhibitions, and educational activities. Carl Goodman, MMI’s executive director, said of the event, “We are thrilled to be honoring one of the world’s most beloved and talented performers.” Hugh was joined by his Les Misérables co-stars, Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne; director Tom Hooper was also in attendance.

There are numerous quotes and accounts from the evening, which you can read below:

Last week, Hugh Jackman gave his Les Mis co-star Amanda Seyfried a “happy birthday” lap dance. Yesterday, he serenaded his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, at a lunch hosted by the Peggy Siegal Company at the Four Seasons. “It’s way too early to sing,” he said, apologizing for a strained voice. “But I saw Sammy Barks in the lobby of the hotel last night in her pajamas at the same time I was there, so I have no excuse.” (Barks sang a sultry “Summertime” before he took the stage.) “I don’t get to do this very often, but a lot of this week has been about just being grateful for all the people who’ve made this possible… so I’m going to sing a song for my wife.”

Then, accompanied by pianist Marty Silver, Jackman launched into “The Way You Look Tonight,” changing the word tonight to today, with Furness right in front, blushing. “He sings to me at every meal,” she joked with Vulture afterward. “No, he does not. It was a complete surprise. He’s full of them. And in that setting, it was very moving for me, so I shed a little tear.”

“You know, it sounds weird, but when you’re doing a press tour like this, getting any time with your wife is tough,” Jackman told us when we ran into him for a second time in one day at a gala in his honor held by the Museum of the Moving Image at Cipriani Wall Street. Jackman said he originally invited his wife to the luncheon – or as he put it, “I said, ‘Babe, can you come to lunch, please?'” – just for the chance to have “five minutes to chat, because it’s been so crazy.” The song, as it turns out, was completely spontaneous. “Got some brownie points!” he said with a grin.

Despite Jackman’s worries about his voice, he sounded just fine, as did Hathaway, who also downplayed her abilities (“We’re all sick and slightly hung-over”) before closing out the sing-along with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with the other cast members singing backup. “You can do some minor five-part harmony, that’s fine,” she teased them before Eddie Redmayne’s voice rose out of the ensemble in an operatic bray, to much applause.

“They were like, ‘Oh, I had stayed up really late [the night before], I can’t sing,'” the film’s director Tom Hooper said. “And then they sang like angels.”


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A Joyful ‘Les Misérables’

New Straits Times has posted a new article about Hugh Jackman, revealing some new information about his involvement with Les Misérables. Although it’s known he auditioned for Beauty and the Beast by singing “Stars,” did you know that he was also considered to play Javert on stage? Check out an excerpt of the article below before heading to the source for more; it’s also been added to the press archive.

The night before the cameras rolled on Les Misérables, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe presented the BAFTA award for Best Film at a glittering ceremony in London.

Although Jackman and Crowe, both Australians, have been friends for years, it was the first time that they had worked together. Funny, hugely entertaining and with perfect timing, they proved to be a formidable double act and stole the show.

It was, says Jackman, the perfect way to warm up for the main event — filming Les Misérables, the world’s most successful musical, for director Tom Hooper with a stellar all-star cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sacha Baron Cohen.

“Russell and I have always got on well but BAFTA was the first time we’ve ever done anything like that,” says Jackman. “And I remember being on stage and he was seriously making me laugh, and I thought, ‘This is really going to work. And even though what we’re doing on Les Mis is not comedic, we felt like a team. And I said that to him, ‘Man, this feels like a good team…’ And he said, ‘Absolutely brother.’ And after the show he gave me a hug and said, ‘I’ll see you at work tomorrow.’ And we were off and running.”


TIME Declares ‘Les Mis’ a “Whole New Kind of Musical”

TIME has written a great feature article on the upcoming movie-musical, Les Misérables, full of quotes from cast and crew involved. The article declares that the film is “a whole new kind of musical” due to the groundbreaking way in which it was shot: with everyone performing live on set. There’s a focus specifically on Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, including some anecdotes shared by Hugh involving the cop giving a homeless man boots and how he wouldn’t have been able to sing the role of Jean Valjean merely ten years ago. Check out an excerpt below before heading to the source for more; it’s also been added to the press archive.

In June 1832, a group of students, immigrants, and insurrectionists took to the streets of Paris, demanding change. The fervor of the French Revolution had withered amid vast economic inequality, food shortages and a cholera outbreak. The rebels occupied half the city using makeshift barricades: trembling stacks of stolen saplings and planks. While the insurgency ended overnight, it lasted long enough for novelist Victor Hugo to be caught in its crosshairs, pinned to a wall as bullets flew.

The events would inspire Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Misérables — which, 118 years later, inspired Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s musical. Since its Paris premiere in 1980, the star-crossed epic of good vs. evil has won eight Tonys, been translated into 21 languages, been seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries, and launched untold thousands of high school productions. It’s largely responsible for “Glee.” It’s almost entirely to blame for Susan Boyle.

Now it’s a Hollywood blockbuster-in-waiting, opening Christmas Day. Early reviews are ecstatic, and there’s talk of Oscars for stars Hugh Jackman (as the thief turned saintly savior Jean Valjean) and Anne Hathaway (as the doomed mother Fantine, whose poverty drives her to prostitution). And if the film doesn’t entirely match Hugo’s furious cry of class struggle, it may well launch a different kind of film revolution.


The Rise of Hugh Jackman

Posting this article has been a bit delayed — it’s actually from November 30th, when Hugh Jackman spoke to Australia’s The Age. Although meant to be a feature piece on Rise of the Guardians, he does dip his toes into the subject of Les Mis. He talks a little about his childhood – that he was “quite fearful” – and his own children, Oscar and Ava, including their thoughts on paparazzi. Check out an excerpt below before heading to the source for more; it’s also been added to the press archive.

When I meet him, [Hugh] Jackman is rejoicing in having just had four days when he didn’t have to sing. X-Men fans probably don’t know it, but Jackman made his name in musicals; his leap from small Australian features and television series to the international stage came in 1998 with Oklahoma! in London, where director Trevor Nunn dared cast this Australian unknown as Curly and unleashed a new leading man in the process. In 2004, he won a Tony for his hit run of The Boy from Oz on Broadway. Late last year he had an even bigger hit with a one-man show of songs and stories. “I’ve been amazed at my career,” he says cheerfully. “I constantly feel blessed to have got what I’ve got. I kept saying, ‘If I could just do this for five years and make a living, that would be great.”

For months now, Jackman has been working on Les Misérables, the much-touted blockbuster adaptation of Schoenberg and Boublil’s hit musical, in which he leads a cast including Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Amanda Seyfried. He has been singing for 10 to 12 hours a day because the director, Tom Hooper of The King’s Speech fame, insists that everything be live. Tough, he agrees. “Like it should be. I mean, I’m playing Jean Valjean, which is like the King Lear of musicals. The span of his life, the songs, the range of the singing – it’s about a 2½-octave range – in every way, it pushes everyone to their limit.

“I think it’s something to do with the nature of the material. It’s about people under duress, at breaking point, and how people handle it. Ultimately, it is very elevating – it’s about the human spirit. So it should be like that.”


Hugh Jackman Embraces “Vulnerability” for Jean Valjean

“[Director] Tom [Hooper] offered me the chance to see [Les Misérables] about a month ago but I said no, I wanted to see it done — which was me chickening out, really,” [Hugh Jackman] said in Sydney yesterday during a break from the set of The Wolverine. “I find it very difficult to watch myself sing.”

Jackman was so nervous about his performance as convict-turned-mayor Jean Valjean that he elected to see the hotly anticipated film version of Cameron Mackintosh’s groundbreaking musical for the first time on Friday night at a private screening attended by his wife Deborra-lee Furness, his father and stepmother, and a couple of close friends. “I told them they were only allowed to say good things and that they weren’t allowed to talk to me for a few minutes afterwards.”

Jackman’s wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, encouraged him to stick with the part of Jean Valjean when he was having doubts, the actor says. But three weeks before filming began, Jackman says he rang Furness with serious doubts about his ability to pull it off — both in terms of the acting and his character’s two-and-a-half octave range. “She listened and then she said: You can’t play Jean Valjean and not feel that. Embrace the vulnerability.”


“I was Waiting for the Right [Musical] to Come Along,” says Hugh

Les Misérables held its first press screenings yesterday, November 23rd, in New York City. There are raves pretty much across the board for the ambitious Tom Hooper-directed movie adaptation of the famous musical, based on the literary classic by Victor Hugo. Although there’s a press embargo until mid-December(-ish), various journalists have tweeted their reactions and reported on the crowd response at the two screenings. Pete Hammond of Deadline, however, was lucky enough to speak to both Tom Hooper and Hugh Jackman.

The article is a very good read, touching upon the exhaustion from Hooper to finish the film on time as well as Hugh’s nervousness to see the finished picture. “I was a very relieved man about 6PM last night,” he says in the piece, while reeling from his screening experience. There’s equal praise among them: Hugh commenting on Hooper’s decision to do Les Mis immediately after The King’s Speech, and Tom Hooper saying, “The movie wouldn’t exist without Hugh Jackman.” Check out a paragraph below before heading to the source for more; it’s also been added to the press archive.

“[Hugh] Jackman himself only just saw the film last night and when we spoke just a while ago he was still reeling from the experience. “I just saw it last night [in Sydney]. I was pretty speechless, I have to say. I think when I saw it in its entirety — I knew intellectually it was a big risk — but when I saw it I said, ‘Wow, man. This is massive, a big bone to chew on, that one.’ I felt so proud to be part of it. And I think for Tom to do this as his first film after King’s Speech is just an incredible kind of testament to him,” he said.


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