The Star's Stage to Screen Journey
By Lee Parham
Reminiscence star Hugh Jackman has been one of Hollywood’s hottest commodities for over two decades, but the former X-Man got his start outside the industry.
Hugh Jackman was born in Sydney, Australia in 1968.
He made his first dive into performing at a young age when he starred in a stage production of My Fair Lady, and after receiving a degree in communications he went to drama school.
Jackman struggled with comparing himself to his fellow classmates, and developed an underdog mentality that would stay with him throughout his career.
The 1990s were full of stage performances, starting in shows like Beauty and the Beast and Sunset Boulevard. He eventually performed in London in the show Oklahoma!
Oklahoma! proved to be a tremendous success for Jackman, as he was cast in a British TV adaptation of the play where he was able to reprise his role as Curly McClain.
Jackman went on to land roles in smaller films such as Erskineville Kings and Paperback Hero before eventually being cast as Logan/Wolverine in a movie adaptation of the X-Men comics.
Despite holding legendary status amongst comic book castings, Jackman’s version of Wolverine was initially criticized, with fans citing his physical appearance as differing from the comics.
While Jackman is not short and stocky like his comic book counterpart, Marvel Comics fans eventually warmed to him, and his portrayal of Logan has since been lauded.
Jackman also holds the world record for longest career in a superhero role. Over 17 years, he appeared in eight X-Men films.
Wolverine launched Jackman’s career, quickly gaining him additional action roles in projects like Van Helsing and Real Steel.
He also began working on more serious productions with acclaimed directors, including a collaboration with Christopher Nolan in The Prestige and with Denis Villeneuve in Prisoners.
2008 saw a homecoming for Jackman, as he starred in the period epic Australia alongside fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman, and teamed up with acclaimed director Baz Luhrmann.
Jackman has also clung to his stage production roots, starring in musical roles as Blackbird in Pan, and more famously as circus ring-leader P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman.
He’s also lent his vocal talents to many animated projects, including Happy Feet, Flushed Away, Rise of the Guardians, and Missing Link.
Recent Jackman efforts include more dramatic roles in Eddie the Eagle, The Front Runner, and Bad Education.
His latest film Reminiscence reunites him with his The Greatest Showman co-star Rebecca Fergusen, in a sci-fi thriller where his character discovers a way to relive moments from the past.
From small stage productions to the big screen, and becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest icons, Hugh Jackman’s career has been prolific.