Hugh Jackman Discusses Upcoming "Australia" Movie





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Hugh Jackman Discusses Upcoming "Australia" Movie  10/22/08

DALLAS,  /PRNewswire/ -- Get ready to gallop with Hugh Jackman in the December issue of Cowboys & Indians, The Premier Magazine of the West, now on sale at newsstands everywhere.

Jackman has played everything from a comic-book hero (Wolverine in the "X-Men" franchise) to a Broadway musical lead ("The Boy from Oz"), from a legendary monster hunter ("Van Helsing") to a time-tripping British gentleman ("Kate & Leopold"). But now the charismatic superstar is blazing a new trail for himself in "Australia," the eagerly awaited epic romantic drama in which he co-stars opposite Nicole Kidman for director Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge!")

Set to open Nov. 26 in theaters nationwide, "Australia" focuses on the charged relationship between Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman), a prim and proper British aristocrat who travels to the Outback to look for her missing husband in the early 1940s, and The Drover (Jackman), a roguish, rough-hewn loner Lady Sarah employs to drive hundreds of cattle across hundreds of miles of the world's most beautiful yet unforgiving terrain. Passions swell, tensions mount, cattle stampede -- and at the end of the trail, the leads must survive the bombing of the city of Darwin by the same Japanese forces that attacked Pearl Harbor.

Call it "Red River" meets "Gone With the Wind," and you won't be far off the mark.

"But it's also in the style of 'Out of Africa,'" Jackman tells C&I writer Joe Leydon. "And 'The African Queen.' And 'Titanic.' That kind of genre, whatever you'd call it. A big, epic, romantic adventure story. I've been doing some (dubbing) work on the film, so I've had the chance to look at everything again. And more than ever before, and I've had the feeling of, 'Oh, my goodness. I'm in one of those movies.' It's a real old school, Hollywood classic sort of movie. And I've found myself getting a little tingle in the back of my neck: 'Wow! I'm in one of those!' It's definitely a dream come true."

Before signing on for "Australia," Jackman admits, he had only limited experience as an equestrian. So he gamely endured several weeks of grueling training, in order to look convincing as an Aussie cowboy in many of the movie's elaborate action sequences. After about three months of hard riding during on-location filming in the Outback, "I really started feeling that connection with a horse," Jackman says. "And now it's something I'll have forever and ever. I absolutely love it. That was a pretty good point to get to, because I'll tell you: We did some pretty hairy things while we were out there filming. If I hadn't gotten to that point, I'm pretty sure I would have been a lot more circumspect about doing some of those stunts."

With that experience under his belt, does he think he could ever get a job as real cowboy? "I reckon I might have a chance," Jackman says with a hearty laugh. "A very, very outside chance. But would I survive if I got the job? I don't know, mate. I may be a little too pampered, I think."

SOURCE Cowboys & Indians Magazine



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