Hugh Jackman took a break from the barricades to head back to Broadway on June 10. The star of the upcoming Les Miserables movie flew from London to attend the Tony Awards, where he accepted a special Tony for his contributions to the Broadway community. Broadway.com chatted with Jackman in the Tony Awards press room about his time spent as Jean Valjean and his newest accolade.
“It’s going great,” Jackman said of the Les Miz filming, which concludes in one week. “I don’t think I’ve ever quite received that kind of feedback from a teaser trailer before,” Jackman said of the movie’s recently released first preview. “I’ve done enough [movies] to know when it’s BS and when it’s not, so I can tell there was genuine excitement. I think we’re going for something risky and we’re doing something that’s never been done before.”
Filming has been a unique experience for Jackman as the actors have sung their tunes live on camera rather than pre-recording the vocals. “Every day at work is like an opening night. You never know when you wake up, that song you sing [that day], you may never sing it again. That’s it. There’s no post-production. Everything is live.” So does Jackman have a favorite song he’s performed from the iconic score? “It’s a tough one. I think maybe ‘Who Am I?’ I love the dilemma that’s going on in that song and the orchestrations of it. But if you ask me tomorrow I’ll tell you it’s ‘Bring Him Home,’ and then I’ll change my mind again!”
As the winner for his Special Tony, Jackman was surprised when his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, took the Beacon Theatre stage to present him the trophy. “I had absolutely no idea [she would present],” he said of the touching moment. “I’m in shock. I thought she was going to miss it because she was going to the bathroom. She hates public speaking and she can never keep a secret, so this was a minor miracle.”
Jackman also enjoyed watching the ceremony from the audience rather than serving as host as he did from 2003 to 2005. “It’s the greatest show,” he said comparing the awards to others like the Oscars. “It’s Broadway’s greatest hits all in one night. I was away for four months [filming Les Miserables] and was on [Broadway] for a few months [performing Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway] so I didn’t get to see a lot.” So how did Jackman think Neil Patrick Harris handled hosting duties this time around? “Neil is as good as it gets!”