In a revealing new interview, Hugh Jackman opened up about his painful upbringing that resulted in years of aggression, and how the stage is the only place he finds peace. The 46-year-old may star as Blackbeard in the upcoming flick Pan, but it seems he may relate more with the Lost Boys.
For the first time, he shared:
"I was volatile. My mum left when I was 8. My anger didn't really surface until I was 12 or 13. It was triggered because my parents were going to get reconciled and didn't. All those years I'd been holding out hope that they would."
With a guy as genuine and classy as the Australian heartthrob, you wonder where he channels the intensity for roles like those in The Wolverine and X-Men — and now we have a glimpse:
"There was this perfect storm of hormones and emotion. I've never said this before: I just remembered that we had those metal school lockers, and for some reason, half in fun, we used to head-butt the lockers until there was a dent in them. Like, who was the toughest and craziest?"
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Before fell in love with acting, he leaned on sports as an outlet for his anger:
"In playing rugby my rage would come out, rage that I identify as Wolverine rage. I'd be somewhere in a ruck in rugby, get punched in the face and I'd just go into a white rage."
On the outside he might have seemed like a tough kid, but on the inside was a different story.
"From the moment Mum left, I was a fearful kid who felt powerless … I was the youngest. I used to be the first one home and I was frightened to go inside. I couldn't go into the house on my own. I'd wait outside, scared, frustrated. Growing up I was scared of the dark. I was scared of heights. It limited me. I hated it, and that contributed to my anger. Isn't most anger fear-based, ultimately? It emanates from some kind of powerlessness. I was really feeling that."
So, what turned things around for the troubled teen?? The Les Misérables star attributed his strong religious beliefs to be one of his biggest inspirations:
"I used to go to different evangelists' revival tents all the time. When I was about 13, I had a weird premonition that I was going to be onstage, like the preachers I saw."
And he was right!
Becoming an actor — and one of the most successful ones, at that — has give Jackman the space to be himself:
"Before I go onstage every night, I pause and dedicate the performance to God, in the sense of 'Allow me to surrender.' When you allow yourself to surrender to the story, to the character, to the night, to the audience, transcendence happens. And when that happens, there is nothing like it on the planet. It's the moment people experience when they fall in love, which is equally frightening and exciting. That's what it feels like."
When asked what is the most fulfilling thing about being a perfomer, he responded:
"Peace. There are things driving me that aren't all healthy—[needing] approval and respect to fill some hole who-knows-where in me. Am I worthy? All those fears. Through acting, I'm able to find a level of bliss and peace and calm and joy. And it feels natural."
We imagine that has to be a huge relief!
And just because this is so darn cute, we are adding an adorable nugget of Jackman's recalling of the first time he met his wife of nearly 20 years, Deborra-Lee Furness:
"When I met Deb, I knew immediately I was going to marry her. I forced myself to wait six months because I thought, 'Maybe it is infatuation. I'm too young to know.' It was ridiculous. Every day love just got deeper. I felt a complete trust with her to be exactly who I am. I don't have to be any other version of Hugh Jackman for her to love me."
Cue the waterworks!!
We love Jackman's vulnerability with his fans — and are so happy we get to watch him doing what he loves!
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: film flickers, hugh jackman, inspiration