Category: Articles

Four New Film Stills from ‘Les Miserables’

USA Today has just debuted the first official film stills from Les Miserables! There are three new images featuring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean (including one alongside Russell Crowe’s Javert and another featuring young Cosette), plus another version of the photograph Hugh revealed on his Twitter a few months ago. Along with the stills were a few anecdotes, which you can read below:

• Russell Crowe returns to his musical theater roots as Javert, who spends years in pursuit of ex-prisoner Valjean. Says noted impresario Cameron Mackintosh, who has been trying to make Les Miserables into a film since the late ’80s, “I thought Hugh and Russell would be marvelous together, two Aussie guys who would be so complementary to each other.”

• Eight years after breaking parole, Valjean has reinvented himself as wealthy businessman Monsieur Madeleine. Hugh Jackman, who first found fame on stage in a 1998 London production of Oklahoma!, has wanted to do a movie musical for years. “Chicago was one I turned down, and it was probably stupid,” Jackman tells USA TODAY’s Susan Wloszczyna, explaining he didn’t feel old enough to play Billy Flynn. Now, he says, “I can’t believe I got this one.”

• Valjean fears that Javert recognizes him in his new guise. Jackman explains the universal appeal of Les Miserables, which has been seen on stage by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages: “It’s about the human spirit and the ability to become the best version of ourselves no matter what the odds. That is something we can all relate to.”

• Keeping his vow to Fantine, Valjean rescues the young Cosette (Isabelle Allen) and raises her. “One of the scenes I’ve seen in the rushes that just breaks my heart is Hugh finding little baby Cosette in the woods all covered in snow,” says producer Cameron Mackintosh. “It is one of the most haunting things I’ve seen.”

Hugh Covers April-May GQ Australia


Many thanks to Mischa-B.com for the magazine scans!

Hugh can be seen on the cover of the April/May edition of GQ Australia. He’s part of the “50 Men of Style and Substance,” and there’s a small article detailing his personality and career. There’s emphasis on what a gentleman he is, especially in the more brutal (or less kind) Hollywood world. Scans have been added to the gallery, and I’ll try to write up a transcript for the press archive soon.

Hugh Jackman Will Perform More Magic on Broadway in Sorkin’s ‘Houdini’

There have been many rumors about Houdini for years now, but it looks like the musical is finally taking shape. In a statement released earlier today, more details about the production came out, including the intended release: Broadway’s 2013/2014 season. It was also announced that Hugh Jackman has officially signed onto the project.

As has been previously reported, the talent behind the musical on the late and great magician is extensive, with Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The West Wing) writing, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell) composing, and Jack O’Brien (Hairspray, The Coast of Utopia) directing. Set designer David Rockwell (Hairspray) is producing alongside Scott Sanders (The Color Purple).

Hugh released a statement on his involvement, while Aaron Sorkin provided a brief summary:

“I have been deeply fascinated by the life of Harry Houdini since I was young, and in many ways I’ve been preparing for this role my whole life,” said Jackman. “I am thrilled to be collaborating with this collection of artists who are all at the top of their game.”

[…]

“Rather than being a biography, Houdini — told in a contemporary tone — tells the story of an epic battle that took place between the world’s greatest illusionist and a trio of women, known as ‘Spiritualists’, who convinced millions of people, including the editors of Scientific American and The New York Times, that they could communicate with the dead,” said Sorkin.

SOURCE

IN New York Magazine Talks Broadway and Charity with Hugh

A short but sweet article is this month’s cover feature for IN New York Magazine. In it, Hugh talks about his early ambitions for Broadway and achieving happiness with his one-man show. Charity is also briefly touched upon, including Hugh’s nighty efforts to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS by auctioning off items such as worn t-shirts. (Mentions of Hugh’s charitable stage door appearances can also be found.) Check out an excerpt below, or visit the source to read more while it’s still on the website. If it’s no longer there, just check out the press archive, as you can now find it in there, too.

He’s been called many things—tall, rugged, hazel-eyed, handsome, hunky, the Sexiest Man Alive. But 43-year-old Australian superstar Hugh Jackman likes it best when he’s home in New York City, being referred to simply as husband, father and Broadway star. That’s why the endlessly charismatic family man is happiest right now, as he’s singing, dancing and flashing his infectious smile across the footlights during the 10-week run of Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway.

“I recently found a video on YouTube from my first visit to New York City in 1996,” says Jackman. “I’m in Times Square, pointing to the marquees of all these big musicals, like Cats and Rent, and saying, ‘Someday, my name will be up there.’ It’s a bit embarrassing to look at the video now, but it reminds me that this show is truly the one thing I’ve always wanted to do.”

Backed by an 18-piece orchestra and surrounded by beautiful showgirls, Jackman—who won Tony and Drama Desk awards for his portrayal of pop music icon Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz (2004)—is performing everything from Sinatra to Rodgers and Hammerstein, following sold-out engagements in San Francisco and Toronto. The show might not have happened at all, if not for problems plaguing the next sequel in the blockbuster X-Men film series, in which Jackman reprises his role as a mutant with retractable steel claws. “Last year, I went to see Sting in concert in Detroit,” he explains. “My film agent, who was sitting next to me, turned to me and said, ‘Hugh, it’s finally time for you to do your own show.’ The truth is, I was always being asked to sing at charity benefits, and I’d point out that I didn’t have a musical repertoire. When the shooting of my film The Wolverine got cancelled the first time, earlier this year, I decided to try a show for two weeks in San Francisco. It was a great experience, but I knew the show needed work. So, we recently did it again in Toronto, and I thought that might be it for a while. Then I got a call from someone in Broadway’s Shubert Organization offering me a theater in September. I said ‘yes,’ thinking he meant September 2012. Then the film was pushed back again, so here I am!”

FOR MORE, GO HERE.

“Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway and Having a Blast”

Hugh Jackman has had one of the most bifurcated showbiz careers imaginable. He leapt to superstardom as the mutton-chopped mutant Wolverine in the X-Men movies and won a Tony Award as the gay Australian entertainer Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz. These days, he’s starring in the robot-boxing film Real Steel and appearing on Broadway in a one-man show.

In fact, Jackman’s dual career has become the stuff of parody in a recurring series of “Saturday Night Live” sketches starring Andy Samberg.

“You know,” says the real Jackman, “I think it’s very funny. We do that [routine] all the time at my house. We go ‘Two sides!'”

Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway is a showcase for the 43-year-old Aussie’s entertainer side. Jackman was between movies, so he decided to put together a solo show to keep busy.

“Having a gig is what keeps motivating you to practice, do singing lessons every week, keep practicing every day,” he says. “So I thought, ‘OK, well this is the time to do it!’ So, I just took the leap.”

In the show, Jackman tells stories from his life and career, interacts with the audience, and gets to indulge in some of his childhood fantasies. He says as a little kid, he would come home from rugby practice and watch Hollywood movies on TV.

“Saturday afternoons, I used to just sit down and I just would love … all those great movie musicals,” he says. “I thought they were brilliant and ingenious. That’s probably where the dreams began.”

The show’s director and choreographer, Warren Carlyle, says Jackman isn’t faking it when he dances.

“He dances like Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire; he’s in that kind of category,” Carlyle says. “He’s just like this great leading man who has rhythm and who can really, really move.”

Jackman says he’s been losing 3 or 4 pounds dancing every night.

“We started a week ago; already they’ve taken my pants in three times.”

Jackman starts the show with “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” from his breakout musical-theater role as the cowboy Curly in the 1998 revival of Oklahoma! at London’s National Theatre. It was during the run of that production that he got a call to audition for the first X-Men movie. Jackman went in to read for the part between the Wednesday matinee and evening performances of Oklahoma! — in full cowboy regalia and a perm.

“So my agent rang me back and said, ‘They thought it was an interesting take. Uh, maybe next time you audition, you could lose the Southern drawl, a little less cowboy and maybe the perm. Or at least put a hat on your head, or something!’ ”

The rest, as they say, is history. Still, Jackman’s first love is the stage. In the midst of his meteoric movie career, he took time out to play the flamboyant Allen in the Broadway production of The Boy from Oz. Jackman says his agent was OK with the decision.

“But there were many others who were saying, ‘Hugh, this is not the time to go to Broadway for 18 months to play Peter Allen in sequins.'”

It turned out to be a perfectly good career move — and in the second act of Back on Broadway, he performs several of Peter Allen’s songs, including the tender ballad “Tenterfield Saddler.”

Some of the show’s most intimate moments feature stories about Jackman’s wife, Deb, and their two children. So naturally, Jackman invited his kids to see his new show, even though they can be his toughest critics.

“I said, ‘Guys, I want you to be really honest. My feelings won’t be hurt. You can say whatever, but I just want to know if you like the show or not. Do you enjoy it?’

“And my son goes, ‘You know, Dad, I really like it.’ I said, ‘Oh, great.’

“And my daughter said, ‘I find it a little boring.'”

Jackman laughs heartily.

“I said, ‘Fair enough. You’re 6; I get it!'”

Pans from the short set or not, Jackman says he has been having the time of his life.

“I sometimes pinch myself that I’m getting the chance — it’s like ultimate karaoke.”

SOURCE

Hugh Talks about Robots and Shakespeare

Another new article, this one from The Irish Times. More standard information on Real Steel, along with Hugh’s Shakespearean aspirations in the future and the fear of not getting job offers. He also talks about the early days of getting noticed by photographers, at around at 30, and being prepared for it. If the excerpt below piques your interest, head over to the source to read more. It’s also been added to the press archive.

Minutes before I trip in to meet Hugh Jackman, I click on the website for Variety magazine. There he is on the home page. The venerable trade paper has announced that the suave Australian is to appear in a one-man show on Broadway. He’ll be singing, joking and hoofing. How quaint. You can’t quite imagine Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt shimmying their way through standards from Oklahoma or Paint Your Wagon. But Jackman, now 42, really is a very old-fashioned class of star.

“Oh mate, it is like the ultimate indulgence,” he says after pumping my hand warmly. “I can’t believe I am doing it. I have an 18-piece orchestra to play my favourite songs. I am really excited.”

Jackman displayed his musical theatre skills in 2009 when he won acclaim for his turn as host of the Oscars. It was a revealing performance. Nothing about it suggested we were looking at a man who cared about being cool. He looked gruffly charismatic as Wolverine in the X-Men films. He held his own against Nicole Kidman in Australia. But his main job is as (tad da!) an entertainer.

“I’m the youngest from a family of six,” he muses. “Mum always said, ‘You don’t have to stand on a chair to be noticed.’ I remember talking to John Travolta about this. He’s the youngest of five, and it is statistically incredible how many people in show biz are the youngest from multiple-kid families. You are used to people looking at you.”

If you can’t make it to Broadway, you can enjoy a rather more muscular incarnation of Jackman in an upcoming film entitled Real Steel. Shawn Levy’s drama, based on a story by Richard Matheson, is surprisingly diverting for a film about boxing robots. The picture, a shameless amalgam of The Champ and Rocky, finds Jackman playing impresario to the little cyborg that could.

FOR MORE, GO HERE.

Hugh Jackman was the “10-minute Billy Elliot”

Yet another new article – this one from The Guardian – has been released, with an emphasis on Real Steel, The Wolverine, and Hugh’s early days as a performer. He tells the story about his brother calling him a “poof” again, this time equating his experience to being the “ten-minute Billy Elliot.” There’s some great insight into Hugh, both from himself and the reporter, so check out the excerpt below and then head over to the source to read more. It’s also been added to the press archive.

The day before I am due to interview Hugh Jackman, the Australian actor drops a tantalising hint on Twitter. “Hey tweeters, I have something exciting to announce soon,” he writes. “What could it be?” What indeed? I can’t help but think back to the last time I met him, shortly before the release in 2006 of The Prestige. Christopher Nolan’s thriller about two rival magicians (the other was Christian Bale) contains Jackman’s richest screen performance to date: he reveals hidden torment behind the conjuror’s curtain-calls-and-bouquets persona, one that he will know from his parallel career as a lead actor in musical theatre (an existence of which the majority of X-Men fans are probably oblivious).

The Prestige was a mystery wrapped in an enigma, then padlocked in a chest and dropped in the ocean. Some people think the same applies to Jackman. A friend took me aside and asked whether I really swallowed those “ordinary, boring family man” quotes fed to me by Jackman. Couldn’t I see this was a classic cover story? Jackman has encountered such talk over the years, and always has a smiling riposte at the ready: “You really know you’ve made it when the gay rumours start.”

I tell Jackman that his Twitter tease convinced me he was about to come out, and he humours this with a raucous laugh. Then again, some people would consider his eventual announcement – that he is bringing his one-man song-and-dance show to Broadway in mid-October – to be tantamount to bounding from the closet, anyway. He laughs at that, too, which is very game of him. He even throws in a slap of the thigh: his thigh, that is, not mine. It all makes for a cheerful alternative to the usual “No comment.”

FOR MORE, GO HERE.

Says Hugh on Fellow Aussie, Russell Crowe: “I have great respect for him”

Even more updates on Les Miserables are slowly starting to surface, including confirmation of the January-February rehearsals and March start date for filming. In this article, Hugh mentions that they’ll start recording in January as well — very exciting! He also talks about being thrilled over working with Russell Crowe, more on Real Steel, “tricks” on making a red carpet appearance work, his ongoing desire to bring Carousel back to the screen in a new movie-musical adaptation, and he elaborates on a road trip he took with his family while visiting France in August. A fun, informative article that you can read in its entirety at the source. It’s also been added to the press archive.

“It’s happening,” said Hugh Jackman, confirming the film adaptation of the musical Les Miserables. Wolverine will keep his sideburns but will have to clip his claws for the role of Jean Valjean. Hugh will battle it out in song against fellow Australian star Russell Crowe who portrays Valjean’s nemesis, Inspector Javert.

“We’re shooting next March,” said Hugh in a recent chat. “We start rehearsals and recording in January and February. I’m actually going this month to start doing initial rehearsals. I auditioned hard and lobbied for the role. I went into a three-hour audition for Tom Hooper, the director.”

Hooper, who directed the award-winning The King’s Speech, also cast Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Helena Bonham Carter (Madame Thenardier) and Geoffrey Rush (Monsieur Thenardier).

Emma Watson was rumored to play Cosette in this film adaptation written by William Nicholson based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo, with Cameron Mackintosh as one of the producers. But recent reports deny that the Harry Potter actress is in the cast.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the casting of Russell as Javert,” Hugh said.

FOR MORE, GO HERE.

“It’s some of the best exercise you can get,” says Hugh on boxing

USA Today has published a new article highlighting Hugh’s efforts in Real Steel. Sugar Ray Leonard throws his two cents in on training Hugh to become a top fighter (“He delivered a punch… That’s all I care about,” he said of the RAW appearance). Director Shawn Levy and co-star Evangeline Lilly are also mentioned in the article. At the end, it might be worth checking out how Hugh has fared in other “battles” in life, including a locker and a drunkard at an English pub. Check out an excerpt below, or visit one of the two sources for the articles. They have both been added to the press archive.

“Ah, that smell,” he remarks as he wades into the musk amid the gym’s leather punching bags.

Did his nostrils flare just a little bit? Is the famous Jackman smile turning into a devious snarl? It’s not clear. But when he eyes his boxing opponent for the morning — a nervous reporter — the full animal reveals itself.

“Do you know what I did to the last guy I fought?” Jackman deadpans as the gloves are laced. “You best look out.”

The world should be on notice. Jackman, 42, has perfected his knockout punch to prepare for his role in Real Steel, opening Friday. He’s buff, he’s throwing punches (professional wrestler Dolph Ziggler took a Jackman blow to the jaw last month), and he has truly tapped into the sweet science. Jackman’s preparation for playing a washed-up fighter who finds redemption in training a boxing robot culminated in a master class with Sugar Ray Leonard. The legendary teacher (and film consultant) was impressed with his sparring student.

“For starters, he’s in great condition. Look at his body — it’s a thing of envy,” Leonard says. “If he had a boxing nickname, it would be ‘Sweet’ Hugh Jackman.”

FOR MORE, GO HERE AND/OR HERE.

“I was scared to get help,” says Hugh about Singing

The Telegraph has posted a great new article on Hugh Jackman, talking about a range of subjects. Most of it is information fans may already know about, but there’s the occasional tidbit that causes pause. For example, did you know he took singing lessons only two years ago to “relearn the wheel”? The article has been added to the press archive, although you can read an excerpt below and go straight to the source to read more:

Hugh Jackman has just wolfed down 12 ounces of filet mignon and steamed green beans. It’s 4pm, and this is his fifth meal of the day. One of Hollywood’s consummate shape-shifters, Jackman is currently beefing up to once again play Wolverine, animalistic star of the X-Men films. He tells me he has three different wardrobes, which he rotates according to the type of film he’s making: “thin suits, Hugh suits and fat suits”.

We meet in a creamy-coloured hotel suite in Beverly Hills. Jackman is wearing a T-shirt, dark jeans, and looks lean and chiselled. Unusually for an actor, he doesn’t take himself at all seriously and has not an ounce of self-consciousness. Which is a good thing, considering what his new film is about. Real Steel is set in a near-future in which giant robots box each other to the death for the entertainment of the masses. Jackman plays an underdog trainer rebuilding his relationship with his son as they work together on rebuilding a robot. Of course he does.

I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it too. But Real Steel is an unexpected delight, a mix of RoboCop and The Champ filled with heart, and Jackman’s screen charisma. It seems the man who makes Broadway hoofing seem macho can also give steel warmth.

Jackman understands my scepticism. “For a year and a half people have been saying to me, ‘What are you doing? A robot boxing movie?’” he says, turning his nose up in an expression of mock befuddlement. “But it’s a tale of redemption. My character gets a second chance but sometimes that second chance is more frightening than the first because you know what to expect.” Does he mean he’s more comfortable with pain than with trying to succeed?

“Exactly. That’s what fascinated me about Charlie [his character], and that’s what happens to all of us. We repeat behaviour and start blaming everything outside ourselves for why things are going this way. It’s much easier dealing with disappointment.” Does he think he’s ever done that? “Yeah. In some ways we’re all like that.” He searches unprompted for an example. “This is the first thing that comes to mind. I’ve been asked a couple of times to sing and I get quite nervous.”

FOR MORE, GO HERE.

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