Hugh Jackman is a talented actor from Australia. He has played many diverse roles but is most notably known for his work as Wolverine in the long-running X-Men series. Along with superhero films, Jackman has been portrayed in period, romance, drama, action, sci-fi, thriller, and musical genre films. Besides acting in films, Jackman is also a singer and dancer and has been seen is several productions on stage. He continues to act in both film and stage today. This blog is based off of an interview Hugh Jackman gave in 2012 when the movie Les Miserables was released.
Before watching several interviews with Hugh Jackman, I did not know much about him or his life; he stays out of the public eye. Prior to the interview, my opinion of Hugh Jackman was that he is a talented actor with a diverse repertoire who I enjoy watching in films. Based off of the interview, Jackman wants to be portrayed as a dedicated actor who takes his line of work seriously but at the same time loves his career. I think that he wants to be viewed as a serious actor because reflects his work ethic.
In the interview, Jackman speaks about the preparation which was required of him to fulfill his role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. From his responses, you can tell that Jack is dedicated due the amount of work he puts into each role. In the beginning of Les Miserables, Hugh Jackman is unrecognizable. In order to achieve being unrecognizable, Jackman was “working out about three hours a day” and on a “very strict diet in order to lose a lot of weight.”
The director also wanted Jackman’s character to be “very lean” with “skinny, emaciated cheeks, sunken eyes, and still with muscle.” That is specific and challenging to accomplish yet Jackman realized the demands that the part required and put his all into it.
You can also tell he takes every role seriously due to the thoughtfulness of his responses. His character is a prisoner who has faced many hardships. When asked about this role, he thoughtfully responded with background information about the character and his motive for portraying Jean Valjean the way he did. Though Jackman is serious and dedicated, he does not talk about his work and preparation as if it is a chore; he makes light of his hard work and you can tell that Jackman loves his career.
As mentioned before, I did not know much about Jackman before watching interviews with him. It is almost expected that talented actors are going to be self-centered and arrogant, but that is hardly the case for Jackman; he is personable. This interview, as well as others that I watched, have all lead me to believe that Jackman is a genuine and humble man; he is thoughtful with his responses and appreciative when others offer praise. Within the first 23 seconds of the interview, Jackman asks the interviewer a few questions about herself based off something she said. Jackman is not solely focused on himself in this interview and that is evident.
The interviewer shapes my perception of him by asking leading questions. The interviewer brings up a fact about Hugh Jackman that is central to the character he portrays. Jackman’s character adopts and raises a young girl in the film and it changes Valjean’s whole life. The interviewer states that Jackman is very caring and tender towards the girl in the film and she wonders where those feelings came from and goes on to say that after she saw his kids, she understood where his relatable feelings came from. From this, we find out the Hugh Jackman is an adoptive parent himself so he can relate to his character and draw upon his personal emotions and experiences as an adoptive father to build Valjean’s character. I never knew this about Hugh Jackman and it is not mentioned in other interviews he gives about the movie Les Miserables.
While the interview is about the film Les Miserables, I think that the main idea is that film is culturally relevant. Practically every question that Hugh Jackman answers he relates back to his life or our society in some way. While the interview is about Jackman, his answers reflect that he sees underlying themes from film in our society; he speaks about how the characters he portrays have the same emotions and realities that he faces. Given this interview is about Les Miserables, Jackman mentions that even though Victor Hugo wrote the book in 1862 “its almost like it was written for today.” The social commentary and underlying themes from the novel and film are relatable to today’s society even though the story was written over 150 years ago. I think that this is the point of the interview—we go watch films to be entertained; however, they identify to social issues and themes that occur in our everyday lives.