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10 Things We Learned About Hugh Jackman at the Zurich Film Festival

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire September 30, 2013 at 10:01AM

Hugh Jackman sent the Swiss city of Zurich into a tizzy over the weekend when he made his way into town to accept the festival's Golden Icon Award and kickoff the screening to his latest box-office hit "Prisoners," directed by "Incendies" filmmaker Denis Villenueve (also in town) and co-starring one of the festival's main jury members, Melissa Leo.
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Hugh Jackman, Prisoners

Jackman came very close to hitting Paul Dano with a hammer during the shooting of an interrogation scene.

"Here's the truth: I was exhausted. Denis would love to run the camera, so he would run it for days. I remember thinking I'm out, I'm out of energy, my gas tank is done. I also remember thinking, thank God, that was the take, we got it. But Denis said, 'No.' It hit me then that what the scene requires is abandon. None of those lines are in the script, none of the hitting the wall. I just said roll the camera and I just sat there and waited and then we just went. And at the end it shocked hell out of me. What really shocked me was how close I was to Paul Dano's head with that bloody hammer. I was way too close. Now watching that scene I can't believe how Paul did not flinch. He just faints really quietly. I had gone into a weird place. It was just abandon."

He has his faults.

"If I can criticize myself as actor, sometimes my head can get in the way. I really noticed in Jake [Gyllenhaal' he has a great ability to be instinctive on camera, even though he prepares a lot. In this film, more than any other, I was able to let things go.

"Movie 43"
"Movie 43"

"You always have to risk failing. I mean look at ‘Movie 43.' I ran into one of the producers the other day and he said, ‘Man I have two things to say to you: I'm sorry.' But it was just two days of life with Kate Winslet and balls hanging from my face. So it wasn't that bad."

He says that he doesn't make as much as he is rumored to as the Wolverine.

"I've been audited every year of my life. Publications always speculate how much I'm paid and it's always wildly wrong, let me tell you. They always think there's some hanky-panky going on there."

Jackman's uneasy about his wealth.

"My wife's taught me a lot about money. We didn't have a lot of money when we first met. I was at the Royal National Theater earning 375 pounds a week and I was as happy as I am now. Money doesn't make me happy. I sometimes get embarrassed about it. I sometimes feel a burden about it. Also how do you bring up kids with that? But my wife says I have the wrong attitude about it. Money is like energy. She said don't waste your life being embarrassed about it; use it wisely."

He has a deep respect for Bryan Singer.

"It's always special working with Bryan on this character. He gave me the break. He's a brilliant director and taught me some really important things which I've taken to this day. You've got to come onto a film set with a lot of ideas and decisions about how you want to play it. I can tell you right now he's made a great movie."


This article is related to: Hugh Jackman, Interviews, Zurich Film Festival, Features, Prisoners, Academy Awards





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