Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hugh Jackman Wallpapers

After weeks of discussion, then begging, followed by good old fashioned graft and bribery, finally I get the chance to investigate one of the spunkiest men on this blue planet!

Better yet, he's an Aussie spunk, which just makes his spunk factor increase tenfold, meaning he has a spunk rating of just under 8000.

That's right, it's the guy men want to be like; the man girls want to be with. Meet the man of the moment, and God of designer stubble, Hugh Jackman.

Born on the 12th of October in 1968 in Sydney, NSW, Australia, Hugh was raised the youngest of five children of English-born Anglican parents. At the age of eight, his mother left the family unit and returned to England, while Hugh, a Libran, remained behind with his father (an accountant with a degree from Cambridge, no less).

Jackman attended Knox Grammar School, an all-boys school in Wahroonga (NSW) and showed early signs of his charm taking on the role of School Captain during his final year of high school (a school also attended by Australian actors Adam Garcia, Andrew Johnston, Reg Livermore, Hugo Weaving and radio host John Laws).

He quickly followed this impressive high schooling, graduating with a BA in Communications from the University of Technology, Sydney. However Jackman's introduction to acting was seemingly by accident, only taking drama class in order to meet the requirements for his university diploma. The fickle hand of fate nudging him in the desired direction, perhaps?

It wasn't long before his interest in the craft grew, and he used some money inherited from a relative to attend the WAAPA of Edith Cowan University in Perth, from which he graduated in 1994.

After turning down a role in the enormously popular Australian soap "Neighbours" (a breeding ground for terrible actors and pop stars), Jackman landed the role of the violent and manipulative inmate Kevin Jones in the ABC prison drama "Corelli". It was here Jackman would work along side his future wife Deborra-Lee Furness (they married in 1996), who starred as the titular criminal psychologist.

Several other Australian television jobs followed: he appeared as Detective Eric Ringer on the detective series "Halifax f.p." and "Blue Heelers". His relaxed and natural presence (not to mention gorgeous eyes and body!) led to a successful series of hosting jobs on the newly formed cable carrier Foxtel. Moving across from WA, Jackman learned the ropes as a presenter along with a young Rove McManus (now Australia's most popular Tonight Show host on "Rove [live]") on the series "In Fashion" in 1997.

Not to be held back, Hugh added another string to his bow - singer! Excuse me while I swoon...

Cast as the muscular villain Gaston in the Melbourne production of the musical "Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast", alongside Australian TV veteran Bert Newton, Hugh Jackman delighted in the role, and proved that his larynx was quite flexible too. However, it was his portrayal of hack screenwriter Joe Gillis in the Melbourne production of "Sunset Boulevard" that really cast Jackman into the limelight of Australia (it was the first time I ever heard my mum use the word "Spunk" while at a musical, and I've been using it ever since). The director was so impressed with Hugh's work that he invited him to audition at London's National Theatre, where he was cast as Curly in the acclaimed West End production of "Oklahoma!".

Jackman's strong and energetic performances earned him the MO Award (Australia’s Tony Award) for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in "Sunset Boulevard" and another MO Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Gaston in "Beauty and the Beast" putting him on the fast track to Broadway.

But film is where Jackman would truly hit the big time. With one of the most moving performances yet put on Australian film Erskinville Kings in 1999 is definitely worth a viewing if you can find it on DVD, and then he starred in the fluffy romantic comedy Paperback Hero alongside "Love My Way's" Claudia Karvan, in which Jackman portrays an Australian outback trucker who writes sappy romance novels under the pseudonym of Ruby Vale.

But it wasn't until the year 2000, the second millennium (and the same year he and wife Deborra adopted a son - Oscar Maximillian), that the 6' 2½" jaw-droppingly handsome Jackman took the world by storm as the comic book hero Wolverine in the blockbuster film X-Men (which grossed over $150 million in the US alone). Luckily for Hugh, he was a last-minute addition to the X-Men cast. Dougray Scott was originally cast as Wolverine, but Mission: Impossible II required two extra months of shooting. I'm sure Dougray would be kicking himself repeatedly in the groin for giving that role up (since M:I:2, his most significant role was that of Moses in a biblical mini series).

Following the X-Men juggernaut, Hugh's celebrity status skyrocketed and Hollywood couldn't get enough of the dashingly tall and handsome Aussie, and he starred in a series of relatively average films - including Someone Like You, Swordfish, Kate & Leopold and Van Helsing - all of which have made rather significant losses (the combined losses of Swordfish and Van Helsing are in the vicinity of almost $80 million). But all was forgiven in 2003, as Hugh took a larger role as Wolverine in the X-Men sequel which pulled in almost $500 million worldwide.

And it's only getting better, with X3 likely to yet again break box office records, and the spin off Wolverine (expected to be produced by Jackman's company Seed Productions) likely to do similar business.

But it ain't over yet! Jackman's return to musical theatre was also an amazing success, with his role as Peter Allen in "The Boy From Oz" earning him Broadway's 2004 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) which he also hosted in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Not denying his roots, Jackman is bringing the show back Down Under with a series of arena shows (most of which sold out straight away).

There has been hushed speculation that Hugh Jackman is homosexual, despite being married for more than a decade and with two adopted children. Website alleges to have quoted Boy George as saying "Hugh Jackman is so gay. I just saw him at a benefit the night before the Tony's and I saw him holding hands and kissing his lover! The nerve to go onstage during the awards to say he is not."

The man with the million dollar smile also recently signed a deal with 20th Century Fox which enables Seed Productions to finance and distribute locally made films internationally - a deal which worked with great success in England with Working Title Productions (the film Calender Girls grossed over $110 million worldwide which would have otherwise not been shown outside of the UK).

This new film production venture puts Jackman in the shoes of producer on the upcoming Marvel Comics action film Wolverine, slated for a 2009 release. Jackman will also play Logan/Wolverine, in what is set to be the mother of all action movies.

And let's not forget that he's a bona fide Hollywood star who can play a homosexual musician on Broadway and still be respected as the epitome of the "angry cave man" as Wolverine. All this and yet still find time to live in Melbourne with his wife of almost 10 years. Are we all jealous yet? The couple also adopted their second child Ava Eliot Jackman in 2005.

More recently the man with the spunk rating of almost 8000 has been working with an all-star Aussie cast on new flick called Australia. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the new flick will be in cinemas in 2008 and follows the main characters through outback Australia on a huge cattle drive, just before the Japanese bomb Darwin. It also stars Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, and Bryan Brown, and is expected to be quite the epic pre-war film.

To add yet another bow to his cap, Jackman delivered a stunning musical display as host of the 2009 Oscars - the first Australian in history to be given the job. Oh yeah, and blasting the box office in X-Men Origins : Wolverine.

The amazing thing is that this is simply scraping the surface of Jackman's short, yet astounding career to date. Let's face it, he's a marvel, a gentleman and an incredible ambassador for Australian culture. He's not the most talented actor on the planet, but neither am I.

A fantastic Aussie success story, which - just quietly - is making my partner just a little bit jealous.

Hugh Jackman: talented beyond belief. And a world-class spunk.

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