When I found out I’d be the guest blogger for the episode of Katie featuring Hugh Jackman, I was excited. Still, I must say that my conception of Mr. Jackman was a little vague. I knew he was gorgeous, of course, a charmer, and very talented, but I’d never seen any of the X-Men movies, and I missed him on Broadway in The Boy From Oz. I came into the studio figuring Jackman would do a brief interview outlining some carefully rehearsed talking points for his new film Les Miserables, all the ladies in the audience would scream, and he would then beat a polite and hasty exit. How wrong I was!
Okay, the part about the ladies screaming was right. Jackman also talked a lot about Les Miserables, of course, and from the clips we saw, he gives an astounding performance.
But everything else about Katie’s hour-long (!) interview with Hugh Jackman was a complete and delightful surprise. Jackman talked openly about his wife, Deborrah-Lee Furness, and her own acting career. When they met in 1996, Furness was the TV star. Jackman’s first professional job was as a guest on her show. 16 years later, Jackman is the household name, partially because Furness gave up her own acting career to prioritize his. Katie asked Jackman if his wife ever regretted that decision. “I think it’s hard for her sometimes,” Jackman admitted openly. “You see, she’s much more talented than I am.”
To see Jackman honor his wife and her talent that openly and honestly was a privilege.
This really hit home for me. Before I had my three children, I had a television career of my own. I wasn’t a star, but I was consistently working. But that career was three thousand miles away from where my husband’s career kept him, and when it was time to start a family, something had to give. My husband clearly had more job security than I, so the choice was clear—but that didn’t mean it wasn’t hard, or that I don’t still wonder now and again what could have been. To see Jackman honor his wife and her talent that openly and honestly was a privilege.
When was the last time you heard a “Sexiest Man Alive” talk about how much he adores his wife? (Cue the swooning from the studio audience.) About their struggles with infertility? About their commitment to adoption and his deep love for his children?
I now officially have a new favorite celebrity, and since my fellow blogger Wendi Aarons proudly brags about her status as a “Fanilow,” I am taking this opportunity to similarly state that after this episode of Katie, I am a Hugh JackFan.
Best of all, Jackman took the microphone and crooned every show tune Katie threw at him, improvising the lyrics where necessary. My husband has many wonderful qualities, but total recall of every song in Oklahoma! is not one of them.
Is Hugh Jackman the perfect man? He may just be. He’s also possibly the “Most Taken” man in Hollywood. And every single one of us in that studio audience loved him all the more for it.
Are you a Jackfan?