Hugh Jackman recently conducted an interview with Playbill.com, discussing Broadway and his return to the Great White Way with his one-man show. It’s a very insightful interview in general, but – for those curious about his Back on Broadway performances – there’s also a good look into what to expect. Check out an excerpt below before visiting the source for the entire piece. It’s also been added to the press archive.
A one-man musical spectacular is quite a leap from your most recent film, “Real Steel.” How important is it for you to achieve that kind of balance in your career?
Honestly, it’s basically been about avoiding unemployment. When I first graduated from drama school, my goal was to keep pushing open as many doors as possible, so that included all different types of film, musical theatre, and straight plays. I figured, well, I’m pretty good at quite a few things, so I’ll keep on working at all of them. I also feel that it’s good for actors to say “yes” and risk making fools out of themselves. Ultimately, that approach has been something that’s defined me in this business.
Looking back, what impact did The Boy From Oz have on your career?
It was the turning point in my career, as far as I’m concerned. It’s funny, because I was actually offered the role of Peter Allen back in 1996 when they did a workshop in Australia, but I turned it down — even though I knew it was going to be great — because I decided I was going to try to do more films. At that point I couldn’t even get auditions for films because I was becoming so known for musicals, so I was trying to strategize. Then, after saying no to The Boy from Oz, I didn’t work in film for the next two years. When I went to see the show I felt sick in the stomach, because it was exactly how I knew it would be: It was a brilliant show and one of the greatest parts I had ever seen, and I had turned it down because I was trying to plan things out. I got a call years later from Robert Fox, the producer, and he said, “Hey, Hugh, we were thinking —” I literally cut him off and said, “I’m in.” I vowed never to disobey my heart again.
No more hesitations at that point?
A number of people thought I’d lost my mind and that it wasn’t the smartest thing for me to do, but it was a no-brainer for me. I was so grateful to have a second chance at the role. We did not get great reviews when we opened, but I felt strongly about the show, I could feel we were connecting with the audience, and I knew the audience loved it. I carried with me the great feeling of knowing that, whatever happened with the show, I’d done the right thing. Then it turned around and became a big hit, I won the Tony Award, and it was probably the best year of my life. From that moment on, I’ve followed my gut.
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