Australian native HUGH JACKMAN (Jean Valjean) made his first major U.S. film appearance as Wolverine in the first installment of the X-Men franchise, a role he reprised in the enormously successful X2, in 2003, and X-Men: The Last Stand, in 2006. Most recently in the franchise, he played Wolverine in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which serves as a prequel to the popular series and grossed an outstanding $85 million domestically in its first weekend of release in May 2009. Audiences will again see Jackman in the popular role in the next X-Men chapter titled The Wolverine, which is currently filming in Australia. In October 2011, Jackman made his return to the Big Way in his one-man show Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway. Backed by an 18-piece orchestra, the revue, which previously opened to rave reviews during its limited engagements in San Francisco and Toronto earlier that year, was comprised of both Broadway hits and a selection of some of his personal favorite standards. Jackman's continued dedication and contributions to the Broadway community was feted at the 2012 Tony Awards, where he received a Special Tony Award from the Tony Awards Administration Committee, recognizing his accomplishments both as a performer and as a humanitarian. Most recently on the big screen, Jackman starred in DreamWorks' Real Steel. Directed by Shawn Levy, this thrilling story is set in the near future where 2,000-pound robots do battle in the boxing ring. The film led the box office two weeks in a row in the fall of 2011. In the fall of 2009, Jackman returned to Broadway in the Keith Huff-penned A Steady Rain. Co-starring Daniel Craig, the play tells the story of two Chicago cops who are lifelong friends and whose differing accounts of a few traumatic days change their lives forever. On February 22, 2009, Jackman took on the prestigious role of host of the 81st Annual Academy Awards®. Shown live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, he wowed audiences and helped ABC score a 13% increase in viewership from the previous year. This wasn't, however, Jackman's first foray into awards show hosting. Previously, Jackman served as host of the Tony Awards three years in a row from 2003–2005, earning an Emmy Award for his 2004 duties at the 58th annual ceremony, and an Emmy nomination for his 2005 appearance at the 59th annual ceremony. In late 2008, Jackman appeared in 20th Century Fox's romantic action-adventure epic Australia, directed by Baz Luhrmann. The film, set in pre-World War II northern Australia, sees Jackman as a rugged cattle driver, Drover, who assists an English aristocrat Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) in driving a herd of 2,000 cattle across hundreds of miles of rough terrain, where they must also face the Japanese bombing of Darwin, Australia. Additionally, Jackman starred in Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, Christopher Nolan's The Prestige and Woody Allen's Scoop. He also lent his voice to the animated features Happy Feet and Flushed Away. Other films in which he has had leading roles include Deception, Someone Like You, Swordfish, Van Helsing and Kate & Leopold, for which he received a 2002 Golden Globe nomination. For his portrayal of the 1970s singer/songwriter Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz, Jackman received the 2004 Tony Award for Best Actor (Musical) as well as Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards. Jackman's previous theater credits include Carousel, at Carnegie Hall; Oklahoma!, at the National Theatre in London, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination; Sunset Boulevard, for which he won an Australian “MO” Award; and Disney's Beauty and the Beast, for which he received an Australian “MO” Award nomination. Jackman's career began in Australia in the independent films Paperback Hero and Erskineville Kings, for which he won a Film Critics' Circle of Australia Best Actor Award and received an Australian Film Institute Best Actor nomination. In 1999, he was named Australian Star of the Year at the Australian International Movie Convention.
AS JEAN VALJEAN