Hugh Jackman's wife thought his new Blackbeard look for 'Pan' was 'sexy'
By CHELSEA HUANG
Yes, that's Hugh Jackman you see up there on the big screen in "Pan," as Blackbeard, the fearsome pirate in the backstory of Peter Pan.
No, it's not the upbeat, clean-cut Aussie actor who starred in "Les Mis" and as Wolverine.
The 46-year-old actor has made several wild transformations for roles in the past, but he's practically unrecognizable in "Pan," with a shaved head, fanciful facial hair, pallid makeup and false teeth.
"I will admit, in the middle of the night waking up and scaring the hell out of myself, like some drug dealer had somehow come into my house. Like Walter Parks was setting up shop in my bathroom," Jackman dished in an exclusive interview with AOL.
While the silver screen veteran saw himself as a drug dealer in his movie garb, there's one person who went gaga for his new garb -- his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness.
She "kind of dug" the wild look Jackman joked. "She liked the pirate sort of getup. She thought it was kind of sexy, so that was good."
Although Jackman had an inkling of what was in store when he first signed up to work with "eccentric" director Joe Wright, he expected a more traditional iteration of Blackbeard -- one with plumes of smoke billowing from his head like he'd seen in past portrayals of the historic figure.
"He had an iPad with my face superimposed with white cracked makeup on my skin with the wig of Marie Antoinette and the costume of Louis XIV. And I was like, 'Okay, this is very very different ...' And I immediately knew that we were in the world of a child's imagination where adults have to be frightening and also ridiculous to kids."
Wright's child-like imagination was exactly what drew Jackman to Neverland. The flick was filmed on a football field-sized set, the largest Jackman had ever been on, and not in front of a green screen.
"I think he's one of the dozen directors out there who are truly unique and have truly their own vision and no matter what film their doing, you go, 'That's a Joe Wright film.' Joe thought it was important to have the atmosphere of the set ... He created this atmosphere that was a blast for everyone."
Four weeks of filming was dedicated to a massive fight scene at the end of the flick with Rooney Mara as warrior princess Tiger Lily, who has been hailed as a strong, female role model for young girls, despite previous portrayals of the character as a forgettable character cast aside in the periphery of the story.
As a father to 10-year-old Ava, Mara's "Pan" character resonated with Jackman.
"Rooney was the perfect person for it because Rooney is quite regal, and I'm telling you she's quite badass, that girl. I fought her for four weeks when we shot that final scene. She knows what she's doing -- she's tough," he said. "My daughter, all girls actually, see this movie and their favorite character is Tiger Lily. Because she's very loyal, and very courageous, very brave, probably the bravest of all of them."
In addition to sharing the set with a cast of serious heavyweights like Mara and Garrett Hedlund, Jackman had some major screen time with 12-year-old newcomer Levi Miller, who played the titular Peter Pan in his film debut after beating out 4,000 young actors for the part from a living room audition.
"The whole world is about to fall in love with him, and for good reason. He's just an amazing actor, and an amazing person, and don't tell him how amazing of an actor he is because I don't think he has any idea — he's just having a blast."
Everything aside, Jackman admitted that ultimately, it was nice to finally have a film the whole family can see.
"It's really something different for me. I've done some animated movies, there's always that, but I really haven't done a lot of movies that you can genuinely take young kids to and you can take your parents to and everyone can take something out of it."
The best part of the whole "Pan" experience? His kids Oscar and Ava had dad all to themselves.
"They kind of loved the fact that for four months I wasn't recognized by anybody. We did go to Disneyworld, and I had three days of Disneyworld without getting recognized at all, and that was pretty cool," Jackman said.
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