What is the first image that pops into your mind when you think about Hugh Jackman? Chances are that your mind will immediately show you a picture of him in his iconic Wolverine claw-bearing pose.
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Yes, this one.
The man, who by the way turns 48 today, spent most of his career playing this role for the last 17 years. It was in 2000 when Jackman was roped in to play the iconic role of Wolverine in ‘X-Men’ and the rest as they say is history. But since all good things have to come to an end some day or the other, in 2017, with the release of ‘Logan’, Jackman bid goodbye to this legendary character.
Even though Wolverine has been the most widely-recognized role he has played in his entire career as an actor, it definitely isn’t the only good one. From rom-coms to thrillers, the actor has played a number of diverse characters.
1. Robert Angier in ‘The Prestige’
Jackman stars as illusionist Robert Angier in the legendary Christopher Nolan movie which follows the rivalry between two magicians in the 19th century and honestly, his performance here is one of his best. Obsessed with securing an upper hand over his rival Alfred Borden (played by Christian Bale), Angier goes to great lengths in this story of twists and turns. You’d love him and hate him at the same time in this masterpiece.
2. Tom Creo in ‘The Fountain’
The movie revolves around three story lines, each separated by five centuries. Tom Creo (Hugh Jackman) is on a quest for immortality and to save his wife Izzi (Rachel Weisz). He plays three different characters connected by a common aim and he does it with real conviction and moving intensity. This movie is the biggest proof of the actor’s ability to blend into different personas.
3. Peter Lyman in ‘Scoop’
The film is a quick-paced murder mystery and revolves around the story of an American journalism student in London who scoops a big story, and begins an affair with an aristocrat as the incident unfurls.
Jackman plays the part of the British aristocrat Peter Lyman, who has political ambitions but is also suspected of being a serial killer. This one is a little less intense as compared to his other roles but his charm and melting smile makes this movie more memorable.
4. Leopold Mountbatten in ‘Kate and Leopold’
If you have only seen him as the fierce Wolverine till now, this one will come across as a fresh surprise. It’s a romantic-comedy fantasy that tells the story of a duke who travels through time from New York in 1876 to the present and falls in love with a woman in modern New York.
Although the plot seems to be a clichéd one, Jackman as the Duke is an utter delight as he proves that he can be funny and can impress in this genre too.
5. Drover in ‘Australia’
Tied around true events which took place in the 19th century, Jackman plays the role of Drover as he helps a woman (played by Nicole Kidman) who travels to Darwin (Australia) in order to save the cattle ranch she inherited. Both Kidman and Jackman gave noteworthy performances and believable on-screen chemistry. Hugh pulled off a character that was seemingly very tough; channeling the rugged cattle driver beautifully.
6. Keller Dover in ‘Prisoners’
Jackman plays the role of a father who faces a parent’s worst nightmare when his 6-year-old daughter, Anna, and her friend go missing. Although the police catch the kidnapper, he is eventually released due to lack of evidence. That is when Jackman takes the matter into his own hands and delivers a chilling performance in this thriller. He layers his character with plenty of emotions—affection, empathy, grief and desperation. And it won’t be wrong to say that this was one of the best performances of his career and some even consider it Oscar-worthy.
7. Jean Valjean in ‘Les Miserables’
‘Les Miserables’ is an epic musical drama film based on the musical of the same name which is in turn based on the 1862 French novel by Victor Hugo.
Set in France during the early 19th century, it tells the story of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who, inspired by a kindly bishop, decides to turn his life around. He eventually becomes mayor of a local town and owner of its factory but is always alert to the risk of being captured again.
However, the film received a lukewarm response at the box office but Jackman’s acting is purely magnetic. Singing “live” (rather than performing to a pre-recorded track), he’ll leave you stunned.
8. Bronson Peary in ‘Eddie the Eagle’
Although we don’t see Hugh as the center of the film in this one, he does play a pretty significant part. The movie follows the life of British Ski-jumper Eddie Edwards and Hugh plays the role of unconventional and alcoholic coach to Eddie. His unconventional ways to help the protagonist to overcome his hurdles makes it an endearing watch and we get to see a different and warmer side of him.
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