From becoming an action star as Wolverine to his touring one-man Broadway show, the 51-year-old Australian star refuses to be pigeonholed in one genre or be known for only playing one type of character.
“I find it all a challenge. I’ve never been bored or found [a role] easy so that’s never been a problem,” he told Fox News at the launch of Montblanc’s first-ever Smart Headphones MB01 in New York City.
“But right from the beginning [of my career] what I loved about acting was the variety. I liked stage. I liked singing. I like film. I liked Shakespeare. I liked all of it. So I thought well, my approach is I’m going to hold as many doors open as possible, try to open them and once they’re open, try to hold them up for as long as I can,” he explained.
But when Jackman started carving out his career path, he faced resistance. Critics and industry people were trying to label him but couldn’t.
Hugh Jackman attends as Montblanc celebrates the launch of MB 01 Headphones & Summit 2+ at World of McIntosh on March 10, 2020 in New York City.
(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Montblanc)
“There was a period in [my career] where I wasn’t sure if [my] strategy was working. There was some feedback around the early 2000s I was getting like, what are you? What do you do? Are you Wolverine? Are you an action guy? Are you a Broadway guy? But weirdly, I think I stuck in there long enough for it to become an asset,” he said.
Jackman’s own self-doubt started to settle in and privately he said he would debate whether he was capable of delivering on set.
“If I look back, there are four or five projects. ‘Les Mis’ is one. There were moments at the beginning of Wolverine where I doubted early on [if I could do it],” he admitted.
“And usually, if I look back, the projects where I’ve had that feeling are generally the best [ones]. And I wish I could have told myself that back then,” Jackman said.
The Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner believes he excels most when put to the test – “That feeling of being with your back against the wall and like there’s a lot at stake here and I could really blow it all up. That sort of galvanizes me. For me, that works. It’s not comfortable, but that works.”