As Hugh Jackman Tells It
These hilarious anecdotes, told in Hugh Jackman's own words, have been gathered from a variety of interviews and news sources.
"I was 20, I was about to graduate and I was broke," Jackman told the Kyle and Jackie O radio show. "My buddy went to the sperm bank and he told me he got 40 bucks per sample and you could do up to ten. I was like, 400 bucks, easy money. So I rang up and I was just about to go in and fill in the forms when I graduated and I won a scholarship so I didn't need the money.
"If not for that little scholarship there might have been ten more of me walking around somewhere!" -- Hugh Jackman: Music Rooms.net, July 6, 2010
"I was doing a musical in London at the time, playing Curly in Oklahoma! - so I had a perm in my hair. I put a hat on to do the audition [for the first X-Men film] and about halfway through, the casting director was like, 'That was great, could you do one without the hat? I can't really see Wolverine wearing a baseball cap.' I took it off and I read about two lines and she goes, 'Cut, put the hat on - now!' -- Hugh Jackman: World Entertainment News Network, May 2009
"During The Boy from Oz there was one scene when I was kissing Jarrod [Emick], who played my boyfriend, and an audience member yelled, Don't do it Wolverine!
I lost it. I literally lost it. The whole audience loved it. I mean, you can't deny Wolverine." -- Hugh Jackman: New York Times, September 13, 2009
There's a lot of violent scenes in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is rated PG-13. Would you let your kids watch this movie, and do you think it's appropriate for kids under the age of 13?
Jackman: It's a good question, because I've been approached by many parents of 4-year-olds who see the movie. I have a 3-year-old and an almost 9-year-old, and I get asked a lot if they've seen the movie. I think 'Id let my 9-year-old see the movie I've talked about that with my wife. But it's slightly problematic for me, because my son [the older child] like all kids is sometimes a little rough with his sister. I'm like, "Oscar, you have to be more gentle with your sister. Please don't hit her, don't push her." I figure if I press play on that movie, and he watches his dad slicing people's heads off, it's a little undermining as a parent.
But I have a little story... The great thing about being Wolverine is in X-Men 2, they had merchandise, and I have every type of Wolverine doll imaginable. My son has ripped the heads off of half of them when he doesn't like me, when he's mad with me. And there's a blow-up punching bag of Wolverine, with my face on it. And so I duly blew it up and I put it in my son's room. And whenever I send him to his room, I hear him waling on that thing. [Jackman growls and makes punching gestures.] I think it's what every father or parent should have: a punching bag with their face on it. And every kid should be able to just wail on it. -- www.examiner.com, May 2, 2009
"I was at a Warner Bros. event and all the stars were lining up backstage. Sylvester Stallone was in front of me and Clint [Eastwood] was behind me and we were all embarrassingly close.
"I turned around before the line went off and said: 'Good day Mr Eastwood, Hugh Jackman.'
"Clint replied: 'Yeah I know.'
"I continued: 'By the way, I know we've gotta go but I've been told I occasionally look like you in films.
"Clint replied: 'You're holding up the line kid.'
"I'll never forget it. I went on stage bright red and never looked at him again.
"Clint has never asked me to be in any of his movies or have an audition."- Hugh Jackman: The Sun, April 30, 2009
'Nicole [Kidman] and Keith [Urban] invited us on a yacht that Sting had rented. It was amazing. Keith starts strumming his guitar and then Deb [Jackman's wife] says, "Hugh, get up and sing"; she does that no matter where we are. So I sing I Still Call Australia Home, then Sting's kids get up and sing. I had a mate with me, Mark Andrews, who can't sing at all. But he's a very funny guy, so he gets up and belts out: "Roxanne, you don't have to put on the red light," in a terrible voice. He looks at Sting and says, "I need some back-up." So Sting joins in and the two of them sing this God-awful rendition of Roxanne. Now to me that was priceless.' - Mail On Sundays, April 29, 2009
When asked how he remains so egoless: "Deb's a big key to that. You know Deb [wife, Deborra-Lee Furness] and she's a person at times to a fault, honesty. Brutal. And she doesn't know any other way. I mean, for an actress, she's a terrible liar. She cannot lie. She just is very, very honest. And beyond that, when you're married to someone, as you know, who loves you for who you are and someone who I met before any of this happened I met her on my first job. I was a shmuck actor. Really, trust me, only $1,200 a week on an ABC TV Series in Australia. There was nothing about me that was saying, 'Hey, this is a good bet here.' And when you know that you're loved completely for who you are, no matter what comes and goes and by the way, this went through my mind when I walked out on stage at the Oscars." -- Dark Horizons, April 28, 2009
"In Kate and Leopold I remember Harvey Weinstein said, "Wake your wife up." It was right in the middle of a thing, and Harvey was right behind us. Deb actually really likes that movie. She has a kind of narcolepsy that happens in movies. She sits low, gets comfortable, it's dark -- and falls asleep. She's got two speeds. Stop and go. She stops, and she just falls asleep. She's fallen asleep in more plays, let me tell you, and more movies. I'll never forget when we saw a production of "Chess" in Melbourne. She woke up, and for no reason, the middle of a scene, starts clapping. She was like this, and 'Oh' [CLAPPING] And it was even the performers kind of stopped. It was so shocking. And Deb's like oh. You know. That's my wife." - Hugh Jackman: Dark Horizons, April 28, 2009
"I lived on a hundred bucks a week as a drama student, until I was 26. It was fine, but I remember walking past a good restaurant and thinking I'd love to be able to walk in there without having to worry about the bill. I still go into a five-star hotel and jump up and down on the bed. And when I go into a plane and turn left into first class, I go, 'Woo hoo'. None of this happened until X-Men, so absolutely none of it is lost on me." -- Hugh Jackman: mailonsunday.co.uk - April 5, 2009
You met your wife when the two of you starred on a TV prison drama and shared steamy scenes. Do you recall when life imitated art?
Jackman: Oh yeah. Well, I developed a crush on her. I thought, Oh, this is embarrassing. My first job, she was the leading lady, what a cliche. Deb was a big star, one of those larger-than-life people, and everyone on the set was in love with her. So I avoided her for a week, trying to get past it, and then I invited her and a few cast members to a dinner party. Mick Jagger was in town, and Deb always has a mobile phone right there with her, and it's always on. The phone rang, and it was a friend of ours calling from the back of a limo with Mick. "We're right outside your house, and Mick says let's party." She said, "Hang on a sec," and she told me. I'm a huge Rolling Stones fan, and Mick Jagger's outside my house. I said, "You've got to go, now." She said, "Tell Mick I'm having dinner with Hugh Jackman," and she put down the phone. Not long after I confessed my crush, she told me she had a crush on me, and we were making out in my kitchen. -- Playboy, December 2008
Didn't you wet your pants once during a musical number?
Jackman: Oh God, yeah. When I was Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, I started getting headaches every day. I went to a specialist who said, "Mate, you're dehydrated. Drink two liters of water." I drank three. I'd just gone to the bathroom, but waiting in the wings, I was like, Bloody hell, I need to go again. I thought, I'll be all right. The number featured Belle and me; I chased her around the stage, lifting her up, dragging her, singing the whole time. Then I realized, No way. I was sucking in air, trying to sing and dance. I picked her up, and I realized I peed my pants a little. The very last note is a big-time F-sharp, front and center. You have to release certain muscles to hit it, the same ones that allow you to hold on when you have to go to the bathroom. I thought, Shit, if I sing this note, I'm going to pee my pants; if I don't, I'm going to be humiliated. The actor in me took over.
I was singing, thinking, Wow, I'm peeing my pants. When I finished, I immediately turned upstage, looked down and couldn't see anything. I thought, These red tights must be waterproof. I was laughing as if I had gotten away with it. But the audience was looking at me funny. It had seeped through, and my pants were completely wet. The audience could see it. -- Playboy, December 2008
You turned 40 Oct. 12 and now you're the Sexiest Man Alive. What was your wife's response?
God bless her, she said, "I could've told them that years ago!" And then she said, "Obviously, Brad wasn't available this year." And I said, "That was a joke, right?"
What do you wear to bed?
I didn't wear anything until my daughter was born and we had a night nanny because I was working. I walked out stark naked, and she was reading a book. Now I like boxer briefs -- Hugh Jackman: People Magazine, November 19, 2008
"Vinnie at Bobby's Restaurant in New York is my favorite encounter. He's a great guy. I used to go to that restaurant quite a bit, and I've seen actors there. This is owned by De Niro, so actors go there all the time, and he's the manager. So, it's not like he's unaccustomed to seeing actors. The waiter came up and said, 'Are you the guy who plays Wolverine?' This is about the fourth time I've been there. I said, 'Yeah, I am.' He said, 'Oh my God, Vinnie's a huge fan and really wants to see you. He's over there, behind the counter.' I look over, and there's Vinnie, ducking behind his little booth. Literally, ducking underneath.
Ten minutes it took him to come and see me. And he came over in a sweat, sweating. I said, 'Nice to meet you, Vinnie. Are you a fan?' He looked at me, he goes, 'Am I a fan?' Then there was a silence. He took his shirt off, in the middle of his restaurant, he turned around, he had a full color tattoo of Wolverine on his back. He goes, 'Am I a fan! Of Wolverine!' He got down on his knees, he was sweating, he said, 'Thank you for doing the film! I loved the film! It's fantastic!' My wife pulled out a camera and said, 'Vinnie, do you want a few shots?' Well, Vinnie was doing the poses, he had his arm around me, he turned his back and was flexing his back with the muscles we took a whole roll of film for Vinnie and sent them to him. I think I ate there for free." -- Hugh Jackman: IGN Entertainment, April 29, 2003
What is the most romantic thing you have ever done?
Jackman: Probably when I proposed to her [wife, Deborra-Lee Furness]. I'm an actor so I like to exaggerate things and I was determined that the proposal was going to be good enough that I wouldn't have to exaggerate it. She'll kill me for this but I can't stop telling people. I was working in a show in Melbourne and I had Mondays off so I suggested we go for a walk in the Botanical Gardens. There is a cafe there where I decided to do it and two weeks earlier I'd bought the ring, which is the most frightening thing I've ever done in the name of romance. I was in a cold sweat picking out that ring because I had no idea about diamonds and I told the ring-maker this, which means I probably paid way too much for it!
So I was nervous and had a mate of mine set up a table with a tablecloth and roses and champagne and breakfast and everything was beautiful so that when we turned the corner right by the lake with the backdrop of Melbourne, she saw the table and said, 'wow, they must be doing a Vogue Living shoot or something and I said surprise! She started to cry, which was not in my plan so I knew I had to ask her right away and I did. It turns out there were 40 schoolgirls hiding behind a tree because my friend had seen them coming and made them wait so they wouldn?t interrupt us. They finally come out and say 'what's happened?' and Deb got on the table and shouts, 'I said yes' and they all applauded. That was probably the most romantic thing I've ever done. -- Urban Cinefile, March 7, 2002