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Hugh Jackman flies high, sings low
By GARY SUSMAN  |  May 26, 2006

Hugh Jackman

NEW YORK -- Wolverine may be a dark, tormented character, but Hugh Jackman is anything but. Talking at the Manhattan press junket for X-Men: The Last Stand, he says it's fun to play the growling hero. Of his third go-round, he says, "I had a blast, and so did my son. He's almost six now. That stunt where I fly backward through the trees, which is the most fun ride I have ever been on in my life -- at lunchtime, I hooked him up. He was having a blast. I'd put my son in a harness and fly him around. It was great."

Wolverine made Jackman a star (and it's a role he'll reprise again in a forthcoming spinoff), but the Aussie actor is getting to play plenty of non-mutants as well, and for A-list directors. "I had a goal, a list of directors I wanted to work with, and I've worked with three of them. This year I've worked with Darren Aronofsky and Chris Nolan and Woody Allen, and to work with Brett [Ratner, of Last Stand] is great. Movies like [Aronofsky's] The Fountain or [Nolan's] The Prestige exercise a different set of muscles. And then there's the theater. The balance between film and theater is where I've found I'm most happy.”

Broadway has been generous to Jackman, with his Tony-winning star turn in the musical The Boy from Oz and three consecutive turns as host of the Tonys. He says he was asked to host a fourth time, but "I can't because it's my father's 70th birthday at the beginning of June and my whole family is coming together. Hopefully they'll have me back next year."

Jackman says his solid family life keeps him out of the tabloids. "I'm boring, which is terrific. I think the impression is that I'm relatively happy as a person, which I am, and that I'm happy in my family life, which I am. I have a great wife [fellow Aussie thespian Deborra-Lee Furness] and a great marriage and two kids. It's a pretty boring story. It's like, 'Ehhh, when's he dating Paris Hilton?"'

Was Jackman ever tempted to mesh his two career passions and offer a singing, dancing Wolverine? He hints as much, saying of Last Stand, "You will never see the gag reel. It's one of the funniest gag reels I've ever seen. Kelsey [Grammer] figures prominently, as does Ian McKellen. There's some stuff in there that would pretty much ruin the franchise if it ever got out there. "

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