In a recent Q&A with the cast of Les Misérables, Anne Hathaway turned to the audience of journalists and said to them quite sternly, “I don’t want you to walk out and be charmed by Hugh Jackman. What he does is inspiring and he’s our leader – a deep, serious, profoundly gifted actor.”
To that Hugh turned to everyone and said “I’ll shut up then.”
Thankfully he didn’t.
But it gave credence to his twitter handle @realhughjackman, that is for sure.
But wait. There is more. As if he didn’t already seem like the nicest man alive, then he said this:
“Victor Hugo was reminding us about a Jesus Christ example, which is to love people. You don’t need to go to a mountain in Tibet to find self-realization. You don’t need to listen to spiritual leaders or whatever it is. Be present. Know what you stand for in life. Face what is in front of you.”
Need I say more? The real Jackman strikes again.
About filming Les Mis, Jackman said that the cast rehearsed for nine weeks, and that he’s never been on a film where the entire cast signed up for the entire time. ”And I come from the theater so for me, rehearsals are vital and a way of life. For a musical, you have to rehearse. Tom would be sitting here, he would move his chair to a very uncomfortable place. By the time we got to the set, everything was right. I’m grateful to Tom and everyone at Universal that they spent the money and made it possible.”
To lose 30 pounds to play this role, when his character meets his nemesis the director and Jackman decided to make him unrecognizable. “I did lose a lot of weight and had the joy of putting the weight on. But it all pales in comparison to what this lady did. Annie did it in 14 days and lost about 300 pounds.”
About his character, “He’s obviously one of the great literary characters and I see him as a real hero: quiet, humble. I liken him to the NYC cop who bought shoes for the homeless man Jean comes from a place of the greatest hardship I could ever imagine and manages to transform himself from the inside. Victor Hugo used the word transfiguration, even more than transformation and manages to transform himself from the inside. It’s God like. I didn’t take the responsibility lightly, it was one of the greatest opportunities I ever had.”
Disclosure: I was a guest of Universal Pictures but all opinions are my own.