Perfect timing for this salute to Hugh Jackman prior to his much anticipated performance in the film version of Les Miserables opening on Christmas Day!
Tuesday, December 11th, was a gathering of many of the cast members and friends as the Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Award winner Hugh Jackman (and his beloved wife Deborra-Lee Furness), was on hand to receive the Museum of the Moving Image Award before hundreds of guests at Cipriani’s Wall Street.
Between film clips of Hugh’s many movies and shows, including Les Miz, we were treated to the presenters and what they had to say about triple threat, Hugh Jackman.
Liev Schreiber was on hand to salute Hugh – “emotionally, spiritually as gifted an actor I will ever share a song with – you brought high art and full frontal nudity to a genre I never thought could sustain it – I love you.”
Deborra-Lee Furness talking about Wolverine when it was offered to Hugh – “You cannot do that! I must say it was the one time I was wrong. Our childrens’ college educations are compliments of Wolverine.”
Rachel Weisz – “he is real. . . you are an incredible cocktail and I salute you.”
Eddie Redmayne, after reading a congratulatory telegram by Alec Baldwin said: “many journalists have asked – what’s it feel like to be carried in Hugh Jackman’s biceps? I can tell you, it’s good . . .”
Christopher Nolan – “I’m one of the small band of directors . . . I worked with Hugh on Prestige and think it’s one of his best performances. . . got to show the great passions in his life. . . he has extraordinary ambition in performing and showing the world his gift.”
Mike Nichols “the thing about Jackman is – it’s hard not to get depressed thinking about all he can do and then coming home to be, well, you. . . I’ve seen him wringing wet after dancing, then, after showering, standing at the stage door for an hour signing autographs. . . what we can never hope to achieve, his giant generosity. . .”
Rachel Dratch doing a bit with an Australian accent – “. . . yet Hugh Jackman does it everyday.” This was followed by a Holiday commercial shown in Australia with a kangaroo – – I can’t say anymore!
Ann Hathaway “Hugh, is this weird for you? . . . He’s gorgeous. . . the first time we saw you as Wolverine in that 3 sizes too small tank top. . . I became a die-hard comic book lover. . . there are stars and then there is Hugh Jackman . . . he is bursting with ability and drive, generosity, selflessness and imagination. . . in Les Miserables he exposes his soul bare and soars to the heavens. . . he’s a grown up and so careful of other peoples’ feelings. . .you set the bar. . . going onto the set all I remember is laughing and feeling entirely bathed in light because of you . . . you’re a super hero on screen and off . . . it’s been one of the great gifts of my life to know you and call you my friend.”
Hugh Jackman – “it’s a vase. . . I love being here during the holidays. . . I’m a pretty low-key guy. . . it’s impossible for me to thank all the people in this room for what’s happened to me . . . my father was an accountant at Price Waterhouse . . . when the Price Waterhouse accountants came on the Academy Awards, I cheered . . . there is one person I want to thank – the casting director who cast me in my first job, Corelli, because that’s where I met the love of my life, Deborra-Lee . . . when I met my wife, within 3 seconds, I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with her. . . I love you with all my heart and all of this I share with you . . .”
Jackman is funny and amusing, with lots of wonderful life stories, but what always comes through is his sheer genuineness, generosity, love of family and joy.
It was my joy to be present and part of this special event!