The Real Steel star on proposing to his wife, boxing his heart out & telling himself to shut up.
It had to be Hugh. Hugh Jackman, that is. Who else could tell you a story about proposing to his wife that makes you melt?
Wolverine didn't pounce when it came to the big moment. Rather, he had a strategy. First, he designed the ring he would give his future wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, and then kept it for six weeks before popping the question. Second, he turned the whole proposal into a major event... that went awry.
Hugh, 43, had a major romantic scene set up at the Botanical Gardens in New York City. "My friends set up a table inside the pagoda with a white tablecloth, roses, croissants and champagne," he says. Hugh Jackman Loves His Wife
But, at 8:30 the next morning, he woke up to a torrential downpour—and the pogoda was outdoors! But, like the brave, determined man he is, Hugh weathered the storm and went through with his plan. "My friend called me and said, 'You gotta get here. The ducks are eating your croissants,'" he says.
The rest, as we know, is history. But we'll let the Real Steel star, who's currently beating up the box office, explain it in his own words:
What's the best love advice you've ever received?
You have to plan romantic events, but you need to be flexible. The day I proposed it was pouring rain. I got dressed in my track pants and shirt and said, "Let's go for a jog." My future wife said, "Nah, it's raining." Finally, we go to the Botanical Gardens and she saw the table. It was still raining, but that just made it better. I said, "Surprise!" She started crying. My heart was beating and literally the clouds parted and the sun came out. It was better than what I expected! So you can't plan perfection. It just happens.
What did your future wife say?
Well, I looked at the rainy day and said, "This is almost perfect." She said, "What do you mean? It is perfect!" That's when I said, "It will be if you marry me!"
We're melting! Now that you've been married for 15 years, what is the secret of keeping love alive?
You need to really listen to each other…and you have to do what you can to spend great romantic moments together. You never let that out of your sight. I love spending time with my wife and family. Hugh Jackman: A Wolverine In The Sack
You look like such a loving dad in real life to your son Oscar, 11, and daughter Ava, 6. Was it hard to play a distant dad who starts out as a bit of a jerk in Real Steel?
I can't tell you how many times in real life I want to say something to one of my kids, but I walk out of rooms when I'm losing it. This was great therapy.
The film is such a hit. Did you know it would be when you read the script?
When I first heard about this movie and listened to the pitch for it, I said, "I'm not sure." But I was seven pages into the script and I knew there was something different about it. I was cheering and yelling for those robots. The script made me do something I never thought was possible—it made me tear up for robots. There's something about the design of my robot and his sweet, old-fashioned face that makes him more like a pet.
Was it tough to drop your Aussie accent and do an American one?
I've had American accents before. But the nice thing about this movie is that so many of the actors were from Canada. The director was Canadian. I'm used to being picked on for my accent, but now he was all over the other actors. 8 Sexy Celeb Libras Who Match Their Astrological Sign
What was it like to train with Sugar Ray Leonard to play a man who boxes and teaches a robot how to box?
I've actually spent time in a boxing gym for a number of years, at least twice a week, to keep fit. On this movie they told me, "Hugh, we're going to hire Sugar Ray Leonard. Is that all-right?" I thought it was incredible. We had a really great time in the gym together and I was star struck. Basically, Sugar Ray taught me how to box. And he told me,"'Look Hugh, my name is on this movie. You better make me look good. You can't punch like an actor."
Did your wife listen to your stories about aches and pains?
Absolutely! When you really box, the thing that hurts the most is your stomach muscles.
Why aren't you some movie star with attitude?
I still don't see this as a business. I just feel really lucky and blessed to be working and doing what I love to do. I came to this work late. It took me a long time to get here. It took me forever to feel as if it was even possible. To be working in movies 15 years later is not what I expected. Whenever I have a moment that's ugly that creeps in, I just think, "Shut up. You have a great job."
Do you remember your first on-screen kiss?
Honestly, it was with my wife, who is an actress. We did a TV show and we had to kiss. It was total fireworks. Hugh Jackman: "Guys Never Sound Good During Sex"
Are you excited about playing Jean Valjean in a big screen version of Les Miserables due out next year with Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe?
Doing "Les Miz" is a dream. Everything has been leading up to that one. It's a phenomenal work and I chased it hard. I feel as if I've been leaning towards this movie musical for a long time.
What romantic things do you do when you have time off?
I just had a whole summer off with my family. We spent two months just relaxing in France. You can't get much more romantic than strolling down the cobblestone streets in France holding hands with your wife.
Yep, it's confirmed. Hugh Jackman really is the most romantic man in Hollywood.
Photo Credit: Getty