(LOS ANGELES) — No topic is off limits for Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor opens up about dropping weight for Les Miserables, the roles he’s turned down, and the rumors that he’s gay.
Jackman, 44, said the gay rumors affect him more than he has previously admitted. It is especially difficult for his wife of 16 years, Deborra-Lee Furness, who, Jackman said, often sees stories online.
“Just recently, it bugs her,” he said. “She goes, ‘It’s big. It’s everywhere!’”
Jackman’s X-Men producer, Lauren Shuler Donner, denied the rumors.
“I have seen him with Deborra since the beginning of their trip to Hollywood, and I’ve been on five movie sets with him and have never seen him stray, have never seen him eye anyone,” Donner told THR. “I met him when he did Oklahoma! [at London’s Royal National Theatre in 1999]. He was genuine, hugely talented. He was in love with his wife that day and still is.”
Jackman and Furness, who is 13 years his senior, met on the set of Correlli, a prison-set TV series. Jackman recalled how meeting her, “was 10 times better than my single life.”
“She was very beautiful. She was unbelievably fun — this energy, this spirit — irrepressible. And she had a confidence in herself. I had a massive crush on her instantly.”
When Jackman began filming Les Mis, for which he’s nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, it was the first time he was away from Furness and their two children, Oscar, 12, and Ava, 7, for more than two weeks.
Jackman was cryptic when asked if he will continue the X-Men series after he wraps the sixth installment. The actor said that he hasn’t ruled it out, but for now, ”I need to be home.”
“I told my agent, after Days of Future Past, I need to be home [in New York’s West Village],’” Jackman said. He wants to be home to support his son, who has dyslexia.
The Wolverine actor has turned down roles before. Jackman felt he was too young to play Richard Gere’s role in 2002′s Chicago, and he dropped out of the 2011 crime drama Drive because he was weary of working with then-untested director Nicolas Winding Refn. The role ultimately went to Ryan Gosling.
Jackman also declined being considered for the role of James Bond. “I thought it would box me in too much,” he said. “My natural instinct is to keep as many doors open as possible.”
Jackman is up for his first Oscar this year for his role as Jean Valjean in Les Mis. The actor crash-dieted for the role and gave up fluids to get the gaunt look of Jean Valjean when he first appears in the film.
“You lose up to 10 pounds of water weight, mainly from the exterior of the body. But it was really brutal,” Jackman said. “About 20 hours in, a headache came. Then I wanted to drink water out of the ocean! I see the scene now, and I look really thin, really sunken.”
The actor also revealed that he is a friend of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, who asked Jackman to be his daughter’s godfather.
“He loves having friends and family around. A lot of people in his life are there for a long time,” Jackman said. “He looks after them and appreciates them. He’s very caring and thoughtful and incredibly respectful of everybody around him.”
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