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danced his way through Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway and was
showered in awards and nominations for Les Misérables, as well as
taking on gritty dramas and a nail-biting gig hosting the Oscars.
With characteristic modesty, he shrugs o¦ these accomplishments,
saying simply, "I think a lot of Aussies go out into the world with that
sense of optimism, opportunity and adventure."
Despite his career success, he makes sure never to forget his roots,
recalling how he would §y to see his mother Grace, who left him and
his four siblings to move back to London after splitting from his father,
Chris, when Jackman was eight. Both were Brits who'd moved to
Australia under the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme in 1967.
"I still get on a plane, turn left into �rst class and I'm like, 'Ah, this
is awesome!' I spent so many years §ying to London to see my
mum, 36-hour §ights on [Indonesian Airline] Garuda. There were six
stops from Australia to London and the �rst stop from Sydney was
Melbourne, which was an hour in the wrong direction," he grins.
"My wife and I still appreciate staying in a great hotel, because
I never even went into a hotel until I was 20. To this day I jump up
and down on the bed!"
He's determined his children will also be grateful for the opportunities
his success a¦ords. "We don't spoil them. I always remind my kids
to treat people well," he says, leaning forward on the sofa. "Here's
an example. My kids are growing up in a building where there is a
doorman. For a month I told them: 'Guys I am going to remind you
that you need to say "Hello, how are you, thank you," because it's not
just a right to have people open doors for you in life. If you forget, you
are going to have to walk up the nine §ights of stairs.'
"They are growing up in unusual circumstances," he adds, "and I
don't want them to take anything they have for granted."
Jackman describes fatherhood as "unbelievable, tiring, magical"
and pauses, strokes his stubble before answering what it's taught
him. "Patience," he smiles. "Kids have a way of pushing your buttons
more than anyone else. If there's stu¦ in your life you haven't worked
through, as a parent, you are going to have to work through it."
He's previously spoken about how the childhood realisation his
mother wasn't returning to the family unit has shaped his outlook
on life. The two have a good relationship now, and he believes being
brought up by his father "single-handedly" and having to do the
housework with his siblings had a positive impact.
While Jackman considers himself a "much softer" dad than his
own father, he refers to accountant Chris as his "rock" and recalls
a tough choice aged 21, when he was o¦ered a job on Neighbours
at the same time as winning a place at the Western Australian
Food for Thought
Hugh Jackman really loves food and drink, so much so
he even made an episode of TV show Iconoclasts with
Michelin-starred chef - and his West Village neighbour -
Jean-Georges Vongerichten (pictured below).
But he tells a tale of culinary woe to melt the hardest of
hearts about his �rst date with his wife. "I made pumpkin
soup, snapper and crêpes Suzette �ambé - that was my
'how to impress a girl' menu." But before dessert, she
received a call from a friend on the town with infamous
womaniser Mick Jagger. "Mick says,
'Come down, let's party'. What
could I do? My favourite
band is the Rolling
Stones." Ever the
gentleman, he told
her: "What are you
doing here? Go with
Mick!" A dangerous
move perhaps, but
one that paid o�. We
from top left:
in X-Men; in
the 2012 �lm
version of Les