‘Les Misérables’ Sydney Press Junket

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:

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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.”


New Promotional Image ft. Hugh as Jean Valjean

Promo picture courtesy of HughJackMania.

Check out this stunning new promotional photo featuring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean. Although the photographer is unknown, some are predicting that Annie Leibovitz might have been behind the lens and that this was an outtake from the Vanity Fair Les Mis photo shoot. Either way, it’s heavily emotional, showing just how menacing the shackles are not only on Valjean’s wrists but on his state of mind.

“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.


Hugh Talks One of His Favorite Subjects: Food

Sometimes there’s nothing to promote: it’s just about sitting down and talking about food. Hugh Jackman recently spoke to Food & Wine about one of his favorite subjects, including the benefits of being friends with Jean-Georges, how/why he learned to cook, and what his (and Wolverine’s) last meal might look like. Read the excerpt below before heading to the source for more; it’s also been added to the press archive.

You’re on the set of the new Wolverine movie right now, so you are in hard-core training mode. What have you eaten so far today?
Today I woke up and had just water, then I did cardio, had a protein shake, hit the weights, another protein shake. Actually, you caught me on a real treat day; just now, I had dry rye toast, three poached eggs, and smoked salmon.

Will there be a celebratory meal or two in New York when training is done?
Oh yeah. I’ll be going to ABC Kitchen, Locanda Verde, Barbuto. Italian is always a great way to go off a diet. But what I really crave is the most basic stuff: Australian meat pies, breakfast cereal, hot dogs.

You’re close with chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. What are the best fringe benefits of that?
Getting invited to his country house. It’s like living in a Food & Wine photo shoot: There’s lobster, lamb, steak, fish, salad, all done just simply. Lunch at his house was one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life.


Hugh Jackman – Among Others – is Someone Dakota Goyo Would “Love to be like Someday”

Real Steel star Dakota Goyo is in another of Hugh Jackman’s films: Rise of the Guardians. While speaking to The Star for the soon-to-be-released DreamWorks Animation picture, he mentioned his previous co-star several times — including whether or not there will be more robot boxing adventures:

On getting involved with Guardians: “It happened two years ago. DreamWorks Animation asked me if I wanted to do the part, and of course I’m going to take it. It’s a great opportunity. There’s so many successful people in [the film]: Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Chris Pine; so many successful people that I’d love to be like someday.”

On Hugh’s transition to Bunnymund: “I think it was really funny how he was Wolverine at one point and now all of a sudden, he’s a bunny. I think that’s hilarious.”

As for whether Goyo will actually be working again with Jackman — in the flesh, that is — in a sequel to Real Steel, which pleased critics and audiences as it raked it almost $300 million worldwide, the young actor is understandably coy.

There may be [a sequel]. I’m not allowed to say. There may be, there may not, I’m waiting to hear,” Goyo said. But, he added with more certainty, “it will be amazing.”

Hugh Covers Australian ‘Women’s Weekly’ (Nov. ’12)

Scans courtesy of Hugh Jackman Fan Site.

This is a bit delayed, but Hugh Jackman was on the cover of the Australian Women’s Weekly November issue. The article itself doesn’t cover much new ground for fans who follow him closely, but there’s some interesting insight on his marriage with Deborra-Lee (“passionate but not argumentative”) and on views regarding fatherhood (including what he’s learned from it, like “humility” along with “empathy and understanding”). There are also a couple of images in there that I believe are previously never seen.

Singing Live: “a Bit like Doing a Nude Scene,” says Hugh Jackman

Let the Les Misérables press begin: Entertainment Weekly has published the first interview of Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, where they both talk about the upcoming Tom Hooper-directed film adaptation of the popular musical (based on the popular Victor Hugo book). There’s some great insight into Hugh’s approach towards Jean Valjean, including preparations such as reading scenes featuring his character the night before he was due to shoot equivalent scenes. He also talks a little of Colm Wilkinson and Russell Crowe, including their influences on him on and off the Les Mis set. Lastly, there’s some philosophical Hugh to wade through with regards to the novel’s overall message and theme. Check out an excerpt below before heading to the source for more; it’s also been added to the press archive:

Since [Colm Wilkinson] played Jean Valjean for years, was there anything valuable you picked up from him?
I did ask him a couple questions, but I remember him saying at one point, “It doesn’t matter in the end. What matters is you do it your way.” He said, “I’ve been to some shows, and I see them trying to do it the way I did. And I actually didn’t do it the way it was written. In the end, the way it was written didn’t really serve me, so I changed it. And now people think that’s how it was written, when it wasn’t.”

What a very Valjean thing to do: defy the rules.
That’s absolutely right! The other thing he said was he used to read the book periodically when doing the show, because it’s like dipping into gold. I’d read the book a couple of times, and I marked it up so I would read the scene written in the book the night before I would go on and act the scene in the film.

The other co-star I wanted to talk about was Russell Crowe. Valjean is very New Testament, all about forgiveness and redemption, and Javert is very Old Testament, much more about wrath and judgment.
We really pushed each other. That rivalry at the beginning, it really is a constant throughout. It had to be strong, and it’s really one of the spines of the story, that runs from beginning to end.


“We sexualized everything,” says Amanda Seyfried

In a current feature with Vanity Fair, Amanda Sayfried – who plays Cosette in the upcoming film, Les Misérables – talked a little about Hugh Jackman. It’s not very in-depth (perhaps there’s more in the full article), but she has both very kind words about her co-star… along with a pretty funny anecdote in which they “sexualized everything.” Check out the excerpt below:

In Les Mis, [Amanda Seyfried] plays the adopted daughter of Hugh Jackman. Is it true, I ask, that nobody has a bad word to say about him? “There is nothing bad to say about Hugh. He isn’t human. I bet you anything he’s got some kind of superhuman capabilities, beyond just being just the kindest, gentlest soul I’ve come across.” Plus, she says, he has a wildly inappropriate sense of humour, which she shares.

Together they invented alternative story lines that transformed their characters’ tender relationship into something altogether less innocent, like the old Renault “Papa!” and “Nicole!” ads gone wild. “We sexualized everything as much as we could. It was really funny, the moments we could find… It’s like every movie has another version, another satirical version of itself.”


Two New ‘Les Mis’ Film Stills

While scouring the web for some new Les Misérables content, I ran across these film stills featuring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean. As far as I know, these haven’t been shared widespread at all, so I hope many of you are seeing them for the first time and that you enjoy the newest insight into the upcoming film.

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