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Academy of Performing Arts in Perth.
"I said, 'Dad, I don't know whether to take this job or go to acting
school.' He said, 'You've got to make that choice for yourself man
and live with it.' Two days later I made the choice to go to acting
school. Dad goes, 'That is absolutely the right decision, always go for
education.' I said, 'Why didn't you just give me a sliver of that? I have
had the most horrible weekend!' Dad goes, 'Because you had to make
that choice.' That is a great parent. I don't know if I would have that
foresight. Probably if my kids came to me at 21, I would say, 'Go to
drama school' just in case they made the wrong choice!"
FEEL THE FEAR
Pan is a fresh twist on the JM Barrie classic that imagines Peter as a
wartime orphan spirited away to Neverland. Jackman is e¦usive on
the "beautiful and emotional" aspects of the �lm, but believes it's
important there's also an element of fear.
"If you look at Grimm's Fairy Tales, they're brutal. But they exist
because fear exists within every kid. It's the monster under the bed,
or it's the Boogie Man. In Peter Pan, with pirates and walking the plank
and terrifying birds and Neverland, with the forest and the dark, there
are so many fears that kids relate to and overcome."
It may come as a surprise to discover how closely Wolverine star
Jackman, 6ft 2in and weighing in at nearly 14 stone, identi�es with
the theme of pushing through anxiety, but he describes his younger
self as "a very fearful kid" who forced himself to try new things. "I was
afraid of the dark, I was afraid of
being in my home alone. I was
scared of roller coasters, but there
was no way I was missing out on
going to [theme park] Luna Park in
Sydney with my mates.
"They would go rock climbing
or jumping o¦ a 60-foot cli¦ into Warriewood Blowhole [a sea cli¦
in Sydney]. I spent a month going to my school diving board every
lunchtime to get through my fear of heights. Most of us are touched
by fear in some way and if you don't tackle it then it can become
Would he encourage his own children to jump o¦ that cli¦? "100
per cent I would let them do it for sure. I am not overprotective at all,
because I actually think if you are it can create a worse e¦ect."
Jackman believes in parenting by example ("My son is not sporty
but I deliberately show him that I work out in the morning. I just think
subliminally [he'll get] the idea that doing something physical every
day is a really good thing") and he stresses family always come �rst.
He and Furness married in 1996 and adopted their two children as
babies. "I love acting. I have a career, but I live for Deb and
my kids. I really do have a happy marriage and I don't mind
telling you that," he says. And their secret? "I am a people
pleaser by nature. And whilst I want to please no-one
more than my wife, I am free of that with her. I could be
completely myself from the moment I met her.
"She was also the funniest, sexiest, most amazing woman
I had ever met. We still tell each other everything: complete trust and
honesty is the absolute basis of everything."
Currently at the top of his game, there are few ambitions remaining
for this family man. "When I was 29 and at the National Theatre in
London doing Oklahoma with Sir Trevor Nunn, that was a dream I'd
had. Pretty much everything from then has been a bonus."
Pan is in cinemas from 16 October
"Co�ee snob" is how Hugh Jackman has described his
attitude to the black stu� and he jokes it's one of the
reasons he and his wife opened cafés in Manhattan -
"So I could get a really good �at white in the city!"
But the two Laughing Man co�ee houses are
actually part of a venture launched by Jackman after
a 2009 trip to Ethiopia for the documentary Dukale's
Dream by World Vision, a charity tackling poverty.
Jackman saw the hardship of co�ee farmers like
27-year-old father of �ve Dukale, for whom co�ee
provides a vital lifeline. Jackman serves Dukale's co�ee
in his cafés and Dukale's Dream beans are also available
to buy. "Dukale is one of the happiest people I have
ever met," he says. "He works a 10-12 hour day, seven
days a week. Co�ee is a luxury item for them. Every
time I have a cup, I remember that."
Visit laughingmanfoundation.org for more information
"I love acting. I have
a career, but I live for
Deb and my kids"
PAN °C± 2014 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.
Jackman as pirate Blackbeard
in Pan, out in October