Actor of the Week: Hugh Jackman
I have been saving Hugh Jackman as my choice for Actor of the Week for a while now, due to him being one of my favourite actors. Not only is Jackman an incredible talent, he genuinely seems like one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, making him one of the most liked actors around and, in turn, our Actor of the Week.
Hugh Jackman’s career, I feel, is one many people know well, due to how much he shows himself off in many fields such as live acting, films and musicals. As Jackman has stated many times, on many talk shows, his first big role in acting was and Gaston in the musical, Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast was a very small step towards Jackman’s overall success in comparison to the role that truly put on the map, which I am confident we all know what that is…
In the year 2000, Jackman was casted for one of the biggest characters in comic book history, which Jackman has single handedly made one of the biggest characters in movie history - James Howlett, aka Logan, aka The Wolverine. The australian actor went on to playing Wolverine 8 more times, but arguably his best performances as our rage driven superhero was his first appearance in X-Men and his last in Logan.
X-Men was released in the year 2000 and it was a landmark within the superhero genre. X-Men took this genre into a more serious tone than that what was set before, paving the way to what we are used to seeing now, with Jackman being a huge part in all of this. X-Men is a film about how the human race is evolving, with random people being born with what is call the “X-Gene”. This gene provides certain people with unique powers, each different from the next. With only the selected people with this ability, the people who are born without this gene, which is majority of the world, as scared of these “Mutants” forcing them to keep themselves in hiding. Professor Charles Xavier, one of the most powerful mutants of them all, with his ability to read and control minds, he creates a school, a safe haven for all mutants to join and be secure from the outside world. Xavier believes that the gifts these mutants all possess should still be used for the good of mankind, therefore he takes his eldest students and turn them into the superhero team we all know and love today - X-Men. The X-Men’s duty is to help with fighting evil and protect the world from the mutants wanting to use their powers for bad, such as Charles’ oldest friend, Magneto. Jackman’s Wolverine is one of the outsider mutants, with his ability to rapidly heal no matter the extent of the damage, allowing him to be more of less invincible. He also has the ability to release metal claws from in between his knuckles, becoming a great asset when in danger. During this film we see Logan stumble across Xaviers school allowing the audience to learn about this mutant world through the eyes of The Wolverine. Even though Jackman is much taller than that of Wolverine in the comic books, which, at first, alarmed a lot of hardcore fans, he was the perfect casting, with his ability of portraying this complicated rage filled character perfectly.
Jackman quickly became a familiar face with him starring alongside John Travolta in Swordfish as well as Meg Ryan in the romantic Kate & Leopold, but the film that cemented my fondness for the ozzy was his role as Robert Angier in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige. The Prestige sees two magicians, the other played by former AOTW - Christian Bale, who set out to sabotage each others acts due to an incident that happened when they both used to work with each other. The Prestige has some incredible twists and turns as we see these two magicians pull off some of the most impossible magic tricks. This film really shows off some of Jackman’s diversity as an actor, going from a superhero to a magician from eighteen hundreds.
Jackman’s career continued to go from height to height, as we saw him continue to play his role as Wolverine alongside a wealth of different films, such and Happy Feet where he shown off his more musical side. But, without a doubt, one of the highlights of Jackman’s career was his Oscar nomination for his role as Jal Valjean in the classic story of Les Misérables, seeing him star alongside another two former Actors of the Week - Anne Hatheway and Russell Crowe. Les Misésrables combines Jackman’s talents of acting and singing, making him an obvious choice for an Academy Award that year, sadly being beaten by Daniel Day Lewis for his role as the Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln.
18 years on from Jackman’s arrival to the big screen in X-Men, Hugh played Wolverine for the last time in the incredible Logan. Logan is a brilliant conclusion to the story of James Howlett, a tortured soul who has outlived all of his family and friends.This was my favourite film of 2017, With Jackman being the main reason for this. Logan was finally the Wolverine I have been waiting to see on the silver screen for a long time, with all the previous films having been tailored for a wider audience. Logan was the first time we saw a more mature take on Wolverine, with him swearing and his claws actually causing realistic damage, but on top of this, we had a real story worthy of an academy award. I was gutted when the film was nominated for anything huge such as Best Actor for Jackman, but it didn’t take the shine off the film. It is a brilliant end to an era, allowing us to accept whoever takes up the mantle of playing Logan a little easier!
Jackman’s most recent release, The Greatest Showman, has caused some serious buzz of late, allowing Jackman to get some further award recognition, but to be honest I don’t feel he needs it. It is clear how talented the australian actor is and I am always waiting for what film he is going to do next. Keep up the good work bub!