Happy birthday, Hugh Jackman. The actor turns 48 today.
Born in October 1968, the actor was raised by his parents Grace and Christopher in Australia. The actor stayed in Sydney with his father following his parents’ divorce and eventually attended the University of Technology, Sydney. The actor earned a B.A. in Communications and even took drama classes during his final years, a decision that led him to consider pursuing acting seriously. Jackman’s early works saw him in television roles for series like Correll and Blue Heelers. He nabbed global recognition for his leading role in Oklahoma! on London’s West End circa 1998. And, a year later, the actor would go on to nab his breakout role in X-Men. Cast as Wolverine, Jackman co-starred with major talent in the movie. The live-action comic book adaptation was a huge hit, and Jackman was thrust into the international spotlight for his work.
Over the years, his repertoire has grown to include some wonderful roles that need the attention of every cinema lover and what better occasion to do so than the actor’s 48th birthday!
Check it out.
5. Logan/Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand
Jackman is most famous for the role that he not just envisioned but has “lived” for almost two decades. The ferocity and seething anger that the mutant character of Wolverine is known for in the comics was brought to life to the tee by Jackman and it is a portrayal that will be remembered for ages to come. However, for all the display of badass action, the underlying tragedy of Logan’s life was brought out beautifully, ironically though, in the worst of all the X-Men movies. In the scene, Logan kills Jean at her behest knowing fully well that only he can do so but it the scene only becomes more tragic because of the fact that he’s in love with her. The dense complexity and poise with which Jackman acts the hell out of this scene is admirable.
4. Robert Angier in The Prestige
In 2006, Jackman proved he could do more than just action. Exploring the dramatic world of illusion and ambition of two magicians locked in a deadly rivalry, Christopher Nolan’s film was an opportunity for Jackman to show that he could do showmanship without enormous extendable metal claws. Jackman became a brooding master of suspense and thrill in what ultimately turned out to be a game of cat and mouse.
3. Keller Dover in Prisoners
As a father who is distraught by the kidnapping of his daughter, Jackman portrayed, surprisingly for the first time, a character that is not all white. His portrayal of a family-man had all the good shades of grey bordering on the complete dark at times. Keller is unhinged and unstable because of his grief and Jackman’s raw intensity, which has a lot in common with his portrayal as Wolverine, is mesmerizing.
2. Jean Valjean in Les Misérables
Jackman has been an accomplished singer for quite a long time but he returned to his musical roots in the Hollywood adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 19th century novel. Playing a man with a golden heart, Jackman poured his heart out in his rendering of songs that were recorded live on set. However, the raw intensity that he displayed in his portrayal of a man who would do anything to fulfil the promise he made to a dying woman is unflinching and captivating.
1. Tomas / Tommy / Tom Creo in The Fountain
If you’ve not watched Darren Aronofsky’s meditation on the circle of life, you’re missing out on a lot of things. But most importantly, you’re missing out on Hugh Jackman’s career-best performance that transcends passage of time, space and life. The challenge put up by his “triple” turn as incarnations of the same character, whether or not you choose to believe it notwithstanding, brings out the best out of Jackman as he navigates through the pain of losing a loved one and pining for the same appear so natural that it borders on the unbelievable coming from him. The trippy premise of the search for a mystic life-giving nectar escalates into a search for one’s soul and meets its crescendo in a heart-breaking yet surreal kaleidoscope of images.
Title image: FI