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.