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Sep 21 2013

Hugh Jackman

The actor Hugh Jackman was interviewed on The Daily Show about his new film Prisoners. I have seen him being interviewed before and he seems to have a very good-natured and engaging personality but I have never actually seen any film of his. Since I am not a big fan of the superhero genre, I have not gone out of my way to see his Wolverine films, which seem to constitute a big part of his oeuvre.

But I would like to see one of his films just to see what kind of actor he is. I am hesitant to wade through all the Wolverine stuff to find the best one. I am sure that readers have seen at least some of his films. Which of his films would you recommend as showcasing his acting abilities that is not too violent?

I tend not to enjoy celebrity interviews too much but this was a good one.

(This clip aired on September 18, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)

23 comments

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  1. 1
    Sumana the Novice

    The Fountain which is also notable for not having a single piece of computer-generated imagery in it.

  2. 2
    doublereed

    The Prestige is an awesome film that showcases Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale.

  3. 3
    left0ver1under

    “The Prestige” and “Australia” would be the first two that come to mind. They’re not high art, but are worth watching.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482571/

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0455824/

    However, avoid “Van Helsing” at all costs unless you like cheese with your movies.

  4. 4
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    The Fountain is pretty decent.

  5. 5
    lsamaknight

    He also sings! If you’re not willing to sit through all of Les Misérables you could try heading to Youtube and hunting down the segment where he and Neil Patrick Harris opened the Tony Awards.

    I personally enjoyed Rock’em Sock’em Robots: The Movie Real Steel. Kate and Leopold was okay and in terms of Hugh Jackman’s career the role provides a nice contrast to Wolverine.

    He’s also did some Australian TV series when he was starting out, though I never actually saw them while they were on. Correlli is where I think he met his now wife.

  6. 6
    Enkidum

    If you like old time musicals, he’s quite good in an adaptation of Oklahoma that was released on DVD. But also seconding The Prestige that others recommended.

  7. 7
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Real Steel was a fun little movie. I recommend it for light viewing.

  8. 8
    Lucy

    Oh, the irony … I can’t watch the clip because it’s not available in my country – Australia :-)

    Hugh Jackman was the lead in Kate and Leopold, which was a super fluffy rom com from about 10 years ago (involving time travel and elevators)

  9. 9
    Onamission5

    Thirding Rock Em, Sock Em Robots (lol) Real Steel. It’s a DreamWorks/Disney kid’s movie so the only gore is hydraulic fluid and motor oil.

  10. 10
    M can help you with that.

    what kind of actor he is

    He’s a song-and-dance man.

    No, really — he does musical theatre when he’s not doing film, and has been acting (and singing and dancing) on stage longer than on film. It’s a big part of why he was cast in the recent screen version of Les Mis — though also, IMO, part of why that movie doesn’t work so well. Acting scaled for stage just doesn’t quite come out right when you shove a camera right up against it.

    But yeah — he’s gotten popular through his action movies, but by all accounts he’s someone who takes his craft as an actor very seriously. It’s actually quite refreshing to see in his “action” movies — that style of movie is much more watchable when the actors actually make the effort to build their performances. Of course, it would also help if the scripts had the same level of craftsmanship, but one step at a time.

  11. 11
    Tony Sidaway

    I also would recommend The Prestige which is a great film that just happens to star Hugh Jackman.

  12. 12
    jonlynnharvey

    Aside from echoing the above recommendations, my friends who just love superhero movies tell me the Wolverine movies are actually pretty bad, although the X-Men movies in which Wolverine appears as a character are quite good.

  13. 13
    Jeffrey Johnson

    I too would never watch a super hero film.

    I’ve seen Jackman in “Swordfish”, “Australia”, and “Les Miserables”. I enjoyed all three of those movies.

  14. 14
    Jeffrey Johnson

    I saw the Fountain some time ago and don’t remember a lot. My overriding impression was that while the film has some interesting plot elements, on the whole it was awful, ruined by sickening spiritual crap.

  15. 15
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    The Origins movie was worthless. Like X-Men III, I don’t consider that film to have happened.

    The most recent one, however, wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t great, but it was better than Origins by a mile.

    I probably shouldn’t comment on the X-Men films, though, because I’m incredibly bitter about them (SPOILER) killing off Cyclops, my favorite of the X-Men, and so I’ve been boycotting them. Only reason I saw the latest Wolverine film is because I was dragged along by someone who bought my ticket for me.

  16. 16
    anbheal

    Since you didn’t say you would “never”, but only that you would not go out of your way to see a superhero film, well, you might simply try tie first X-Men. The reason that actors such as Clint Eastwood become popular is through their rather big dumb action films, not melodramas. Nobody thinks of Play Misty For Me as iconic. Schwarzenegger wouldn’t have made it big with Kindergarten Cop as his magnum opus. Why not simply put your front-brain on hold for 90 minutes and watch the one that made him a household name? The first Iron Man is pretty good too, for that genre. Some of the Spider Mans and Batmans. Seriously, any movie with Jason Bateman or Jennifer Aniston in it is automatically a worse genre than superhero. Yeah, the superhero genre hits the dumb blindspot right between war hero and sci-fi, so it’s hard for them not to be inherently stupid, but, ya know, we could take potshots at The Wizard of Oz on that account. Check out a few of the better superhero movies. You’ll survive. Better than your chances of living through Identity Thief.

  17. 17
    Mano Singham

    I heard that The X-Men was pretty good and I think I will check it out. I am not totally opposed to superhero films. I saw The Avengers last year and quite enjoyed it.

  18. 18
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Although I’m biased, being obsessed with Batman, The Dark Knight Trilogy is actually quite good.

    Okay… Rises needed to have been two movies. Actually… Rises, as much as I loved it, had a huge amount of problems.

    But this trilogy really changed the course of Batman portrayals, and superhero portrayals. They are going on a slightly darker tone for Justice League after all, and did that with Man of Steel, in fact (although I can only recommend Man of Steel if you like superhero movies, and even then… I liked it, but it fell way below the hype… in fact, the amount it managed to fall below the hype would be impressive if it weren’t so depressing… I hope they do better with Batman/Superman film, but with the casting of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman… well… I don’t know).

    But anyways…

  19. 19
    Mano Singham

    Looks like I will be watching The Prestige and X-Men for my Hugh Jackman fix.

  20. 20
    Paul Jarc

    Good choices, and they don’t suffer much from a small screen. I also like The Fountain, but I would only recommend seeing that one in a theater.

  21. 21
    Kate from Iowa

    Seconding this. The Fountain, while very pretty, was absolutely frustrating on the “spirituality” level. And that level was somewhere between Bill and Ted’s stepmother is a New Ager and “huh, I remember outgrowing the Celestine Prophecy a few years before I outgrew Lestat and Rice’s other vampires at 13.”

    The Prestige is probably the best of his US movies that I’ve seen.

  22. 22
    smhll

    Hugh Jackman was the lead in Kate and Leopold, which was a super fluffy rom com from about 10 years ago (involving time travel and elevators)

    And culture shock. Darn it, I wish they were making more rom coms. Super hero movies in which Jackman takes off his shirt are all fine, but I want to see more rom coms.

  23. 23
    MattR

    There was an Aussie rom com with Jackman from about 15 years ago called “Paperback Hero”. Basic synopsis: Truckie writes romance novel and uses (female) best friend’s name to avoid the embarrassment since it’s considered ‘unmanly’.

    Haven’t seen it in years, so not sure how well it stands up, but I remember enjoying it at the time, and I’m not really a rom com fan.

  1. 24
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