Hugh Jackman, 44, is on the short list of Oscar favorites for his work in Les Misérables, in which he portrays Jean Valjean, a despairing ex-convict who turns his life around and risks everything to protect a young girl. “That part of the story is particularly close to me as a parent,” says the father of two, 12-year-old Oscar and 7-year-old Ava, both of whom he adopted with his wife, actress Deborra-Lee Furness.
In this Sunday’s issue, the actor opens up to PARADE's Jeanne Wolf about taking risks, cherishing fatherhood, and what makes his 16-year marriage work.
Read highlights from the interview, and see video of Hugh's Les Mis costars dishing about him below. Check out the full interview with Hugh Jackman in this weekend's issue of PARADE.
On his role as the haunted Valjean, a loner by necessity:
“I’m not a loner at all. The one thing I relate to about Jean is that I’m probably a little hard on myself. Jean lives with this constant striving to be a better man, but he never feels he attains it, and I, too, strive all the time.”
On his partnership with his wife:
“I am the pragmatic, steady, sensible one. Deb is the hilarious, fun, sexy, crazy, impractical one. When it comes to the kids, I’m strict and she’s lenient. But deep down, we’re very similar. We get each other completely without ever having to speak, and we have pretty much since day one.”
Jackman loves being a father.
“I feel so lucky to have both a son and a daughter, because there’s a different relationship with each of them. Instinctively as a man, you know what your son has to go through. So I think you’re a little tougher. … With a daughter, this protective side comes out. When I come home, my daughter will run to the door and give me a big hug, and everything that’s happened that day just melts away.”
Jackman shares some intel on the latest Wolverine film:
“Okay, the movie takes place after X-Men: The Last Stand. My character is at his lowest. He is supposed to be able to heal himself, but he may encounter someone who has worked out a way to really hurt him. And there is a cameo from one of the past X-Men in it.”
Any airbrushing in those new photos of The Wolverine?
“No, I had to do it the hard way. Let me tell you, at 44 it’s not getting easier.”
Despite his extreme discipline, people don’t realize Jackman is a foodie.
“My gosh, I love food. If I wasn’t an actor, I could be a completely different body shape right now. But I finished filming [The Wolverine] four days ago, so I’m eating pretty much anything that comes my way!”
See video of Jackman’s Les Mis costars dishing about him below:
From Broadway Boy to Wolverine: Hugh Jackman Through the Years
Hugh Jackman on Kids, Marriage, and Romantic Surprises
What Makes Hugh Jackman Happy?
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