There have been so many news updates lately due to a press junket that happened on Saturday. They’re becoming a little overwhelming, so I’m keeping them all in this post instead. (In fact, I’ll do a “master post” for each city Hugh Jackman sits down in for multiple interviews from now on.) So, read on for all the latest on Hugh promoting Les Misérables in Sydney, with the most recent videos always at the top:
Oscar Buzz for ‘Les Mis’ is “Currency,” says Hugh
Don’t get your hopes up: this video isn’t actually eleven-minutes long, but it is a pretty good length. At the beginning, Hugh talks about the scope of the film; how locations can add depth a stage can’t and the transformation that film allows over a three-hour live production. He compliments co-star Russell Crowe as being “a constant watcher,” similar to his character Javert (who, incidentally, sings about admiring stars for “keeping watch in the night”). And how does Hugh feel about Oscar buzz about Les Misérables…?
Hugh Relates Love and Family in ‘Les Mis’ to His Own Life
Focusing on the aspect of adoption in Les Misérables, Hugh elaborates that there were many parts in the film that reminded him of love and his own family — especially since it was the first time they were apart for so long. The end is particularly cute, when the interviewer asks Hugh if he’d consider becoming a politician because “everyone loves [him],” and presents him with a graphic of Wolverine mimicking the infamous Obama “HOPE” poster.
Hugh Sings “The Confrontation” During Interview
Although this is not an interview, it’s a video not to be missed. When speaking to Nova’s Wippa, Hugh was challenged to sing “The Confrontation” — and he does it with much gusta. It’s an incredibly fun clip (he and Wippa get very into it), and perhaps it even gives fans a little insight into how he’ll sound during this particular song in Les Mis.
‘Les Mis’ is “a Film You Feel”
Here’s a great interview from Saturday’s press junket, where Hugh explains how Les Mis is a story about “humanity” and “spirituality” and he goes pretty in-depth on the auditioning process for the film. As fans know, he chased very hard for the role, but did you know that Tom Hooper didn’t know of Hugh’s background in musicals? (He also mentions that Anne Hathaway had the shortest of everyone’s auditions: she only sang “I Dreamed a Dream” twice.) He also talks about losing weight for the role to believe in the transition from ex-convict to older, “fattened up” Valjean; that he wanted to make sure he chose the right project to go on such an extreme diet (specifically mentioning the water dehydration to achieve the gaunt look).
“We Bonded,” Says Hugh of the ‘Les Mis’ Cast
In this interview, Hugh talks about his three current projects: Rise of the Guardians, Les Misérables, and The Wolverine. With regards to Guardians, he sheepishly admits that he had to Google “Australian slang” to freshen up on lingo to use in the film (such as “ankle-biter”). On the Les Mis set, Hugh explains that “it was the closest to feeling like a stage production” due to the all-together mentality of rehearsals and working on something groundbreaking together. “We bonded,” he says. (And he shares a story about giving co-star Russell Crowe a welt during “The Confrontation.”)
Jackman and Hooper Put Valjean “in the Depths Before Raising Him Up”
SPOILER ALERT! This is a great, long new interview with Hugh Jackman about Les Misérables where he talks about chasing after the role, the Rembrandt-like cinematography of the film, and why it took 25 years to get the musical on the screen (including the numerous risks). He also compliments his co-stars: Eddie Redmayne (calling his voice “beautiful”), Russell Crowe (saying he has “so many brilliant qualities”), and Sacha Baron Cohen (“he never does the same thing twice”) along with Helena Bonham Carter playing the Thenardiers (“I don’t know how many takes I ruined because I was… laughing”).
In terms of spoilers: the interviewer asks about the opening sequence in detail, so Hugh talks about filming at the dry docks in Chatham and the physicality required for Valjean (working out twice a day) while staying as gaunt as possible (inspiring him to go on a water dehydration “diet”). When talking about Russell Crowe, the interviewer reveals a special moment between Javert and Gavroche. The latter isn’t in the screenplay, but it is being heralded – by Hugh and those who attended screenings – as “a memorable moment” improvised by Russell Crowe.
‘Les Mis’ was “Bigger than [Hugh] Ever Hoped For”
Another interview is available from Saturday’s Sydney press junket, yet again about Les Misérables. Taking the cue from having “two sides,” Hugh Jackman speaks about previously wanting to do a movie-musical and that Les Mis – his first – was “bigger than [he] ever hoped for.” On a related note, he also talked about the physicality required for Jean Valjean. Near the end, he praises Victor Hugo for addressing adoption in a novel published in 1862. The real treat in this interview, however, is another brief look/listen at “Valjean’s Soliloquy,” which personally gave me a little chill.
Hugh Confirms that Playing Valjean was “Daunting”
Here’s a fun interview with Hugh Jackman on Kyle and Jackie O, where he talks Les Mis. Specifically, he elaborates on how daunting it was taking the role of Jean Valjean, the miracle of no one getting sick during an English winter while singing live on set daily, and… Anne Hathaway spitting in his face. In fact, he talks about “Annie” a lot, including her mom being in the original U.S. touring production and how devoted she was to the role of Fantine (including her insistence on hacking at her hair/head). The end is especially cute, when talking about adoption — and Hugh joking that Kyle should adopt Robert Pattinson.
“I’m the Luckiest Guy Alive,” Hugh Says
In the above video from TODAY, Hugh talks about (and promotes) Rise of the Guardians, Les Misérables, and The Wolverine, causing the interviewer to dub him “the busiest man in Hollywood.” The beginning is especially noteworthy, when Hugh talks about how proud he is of Les Mis as a whole and gets incredibly humble over the mention of clearing out space for a potential Oscar. With regards to Guardians, he talks about the recording process (it was a three-year engagement). It sounds like Hugh’s career is soaring, inspiring him to say that he is, in fact, “the luckiest guy alive.”
Hugh Talks ‘Guardians’ and Global Equity
Hugh Jackman recently spoke to Australia’s Sunrise to promote his DreamWorks Animation feature, Rise of the Guardians, where he mentions that it’s not like your average, light-and-fluffy kid movie. He also gets into an ambassadorial mode, asking for equity among all nations (particularly in regards to refugee immigration policies). Near the end, he jokes about taking over missing host Andrew’s job by getting involved with the morning talk show business. Nothing on Les Mis despite it being a recent interview; he’s clean-shaven and sporting a new post-Wolverine hair cut.
Hugh Believes that ‘Les Mis’ is the “Game Changer for Musicals”
In this interview with ABC News, Hugh Jackman speaks of the pedigree of Les Misérables, his similarity to Jean Valjean, and the ambitiousness of this adaptation. The aspect of singing live on set, Hugh says, makes Les Mis a “game changer” for future movie-musicals. If this interview sounds somewhat familiar to you, you might have seen the preview posted two days ago; there is a clip of Hugh singing “Valjean’s Soliloquy” from the film as well as some behind the scenes shots of him at the barricades.