Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman in “Van Helsing”

After Russell Crowe hit it big with “Gladiator” in 2000, an Aussie Invasion swept the States with the promise of fresh talent. And while actors like Naomi Watts and Heath Ledger became household names, others (including Guy Pearce and Adam Garcia) weren’t so lucky. Hugh Jackman falls into the former category, thanks mostly to his performance as the ever-popular Wolverine in Bryan Singer’s X-Men films; a role he never would have even gotten had fellow Aussie actor Dougray Scott not injured himself on the set of “Mission: Impossible 2.” One can only imagine the amount of regret Scott is feeling right about now, because while he treads in a not-so-great career filled with cancelled television series and unpromising movies, Hugh’s face is on the cover of millions of lunch boxes around the world.

Born the youngest of five children, Hugh grew up in New South Wales with dreams of becoming a famous journalist, but after finishing up his degree at the University of Technology at Sydney, enrolled in Western Australia’s Academy of Performing Arts. While there he honed his acting skills with some of the country’s best teachers, and upon graduating, landed the role of Gaston in the Australian production of “Beauty and the Beast.” The charming actor followed up his performance with more musical productions including “Sunset Boulevard” and “Oklahoma!” before getting the call from Bryan Singer to play Wolverine.

Since then, Hugh has made a point of always keeping a full schedule, and along with appearing in future X-Men sequels, starred in two romantic comedies (one of which earned him a Best Actor nomination from the Hollywood Foreign Press), as well as the action films “Van Helsing” and “Swordfish.” He also won an Emmy in 2005 for his hosting gig at the 2004 Tony Awards, and was even nominated for his performance on the Broadway production of “The Boy from Oz.” And though Hugh isn’t exactly what we’re looking for from the next big action hero, it all becomes strikingly irrelevant as soon as he dons those badass adamantium claws.

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Hugh on the Screen

If it weren’t for Dougray Scott injuring himself on the set of “Mission: Impossible 2,” the world might never know about Hugh Jackman, because it was that incident that led to the Australian actor replacing Scott as Wolverine in the first “X-Men” movie. Since then, Hugh has made a name for himself as one of Hollywood’s nicest and most dependable leading men, appearing in such films as “Swordfish,” “The Prestige,” “The Fountain,” “Australia,” “Real Steel,” “Les Miserables” and seven appearances as Wolverine, including 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

Hugh Jackman Quotes

On the rumors about being gay:
“I have a wife and a son, but the gay rumors have started. I guess it’s a sign that I’m moving up the ladder.”

On playing Wolverine:
“Now I meet people with full-color Wolverine tattoos on their backs. Thank God I did okay, because I think if I hadn’t, they’d spit on me in the street.”