Top 10 Hugh Jackman Performances That Really Blew Us Away

March 17, 2014

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Hugh Jackman has become a major Hollywood name with the film credentials to back up his reputation as one of today’s leading actors.

Involved in theatre as well as television, Jackman has built an amazing career since he landed his first role on the very night he graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. He’s been wowing audiences ever since as these ten performances attest!

1. X-Men

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Cast as a replacement for Dougray Scott to play the character of Logan, A.K.A. Wolverine, in X-Men, Jackman took off after this role and never looked back.

In spite of little dialogue, Jackman played this compelling role perfectly and what wasn’t said in word, he conveyed through body language and emotion.

As a superhero, Jackman will go down in Hollywood history as the ultimate Wolverine. He embodied the character so much so that we’ll always see just a touch of Wolverine in any role he’s destined to play.

The role wasn’t an easy one either; to get ready to be filmed, Jackman had to buff up and wound up bench pressing 300 pounds.

2. Kate & Leopold

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This role for Jackman was such a stretch from Wolverine that movie goers couldn’t help but take notice. Jackman plays a nineteenth century English duke who has landed in the present after a bout of time travel.

He encounters an ultra-modern Meg Ryan who plays an advertising executive with a definite New York attitude with a penchant for cynicism.

Not surprisingly, Jackman is able to turn on the British charm (his parents are from the British Isle after all) and win her over in spite of his historic origin. This film combines romance and fantasy to create a pleasing production for which Jackman won a Best Actor Golden Globe.

3. Van Helsing

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From English duke to Dutch monster killer, Jackman proves he is able to take on the most diverse roles with ease and his own consummate style.

As one of the biggest box office hits of 2004, the film delighted audiences with its classic themes and characters like Dr. Frankenstein, Dracula and Dr. Jekyll.

The successful film launched a prequel, Van Helsing: The London Assignment and even video games that feature Jackman’s voice. Fans of horror movies should not miss this one and neither should Hugh Jackman fans who will love his adventuresome performance.

4. The Prestige

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This movie was riveting in its way and truly one of the actor’s great performances! Released in 2006, the film also starred Scarlett Johansson, Christian Bale, and Michael Caine.

A film of magic and illusion, The Prestige features Jackman as an aristocratic magician whose rivalry with the character played by Christian Bale is based upon sacrifice and obsession.

Science, magic and deceit are also major themes in this work that give Jackman the opportunity to showcase his serious acting abilities. The film is a pleasure to watch and filled with captivating suspense. David Bowie plays the role of Nikola Tesla to round out this magnificent cast.

5. Flushed Away

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Jackman does the voice for Roddy, a lead rat in the film Flushed Away. This animated feature also stars Kate Winslet, Bill Nighy, Ian McKellan and Jean Reno.

The film’s extraordinary cast is led by Jackman’s character, a post rat which gets flushed into the sewers of the city by a streetwise rat who wants him to see what it’s like on the ‘other side.’

It’s so refreshing to hear how Jackman conveys a character; one fully appreciates how he evokes this rat’s personality merely by the words he speaks and the intonation of his voice.

This is a delightful film for kids, of course, but it’s just as entertaining for adults and demonstrates Jackman’s great versatility as an actor.

6. The Fountain

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This incredible film is a genre-blending romantic drama that has captivated audiences. Jackman plays alongside Rachel Weisz in this film set in multiple centuries.

Harsh reality is underscored by fantasy and even science fiction. In the film, Weisz’s character lay dying while her husband, played by Jackman, searches for a cure for her.

Jackman demonstrates the angst and desperation one feels when trying to save someone precious and beloved. The film has resonated with audiences and has drawn a cult following. The extraordinary plot is filled with bittersweet twists and turns. Jackman delivers a stunning performance that will stay with audiences.

7. Australia

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A film quite dear to Jackman’s heart, Australia also stars Nicole Kidman.

The film became the second-highest grossing Australian film ever made and celebrates the nation itself while it depicts the era between 1939 and 1942. Jackman plays a drover who drives cattle for Kidman’s character, Lady Sarah Ashley.

Jackman brings his character to life just as he calls the audience’s attention to the life of the Australian drover of that era. This lush film has a rich plot that also focuses on the plight of Australia’s Aborigines. This epic is a must-see adventure that depicts Australia like no other film.

8. Prisoners

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This 2013 release is a taut thriller that showcases Jackman as desperate father trying to rescue his kidnapped daughter and her friend who was also abducted.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the investigating detective. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography. Such plots can be quite disturbing and this one will have audiences glued to the screen in the hopes of seeing the girls rescued.

There are menacing characters and strange twists that will leave viewers breathless. In the end, Jackman delivers a memorable performance as a frantic father who simply cannot sit back and wait for something to happen to bring his daughter home; he drives the plot and his action makes the film unforgettable.

9. Les Miserables

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Based on the epic by Victor Hugo, this stunning film stars Hugh Jackman as the lead character, Jean Valjean.

Playing an ex-convict who breaks his parole to start a new life, Jackman delivers all the emotion and passion that this role demands.

With so many heart-wrenching moments, the film is also one of intense realism and filled with the harsh realities of life.

Nineteenth-century poverty colors the world of this Parisian world where Jackman remains at its center trying to escape it and choosing to help others escape it too.

10. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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This film revisits the celebrated character played by Jackman in X-Men. Though Jackman’s performances in other films are outstanding, somehow he continues to mesmerize audiences with his portrayal of this slashing and dashing superhero.

This film goes back before the hero’s X-Men days to trace the origins of the legend Wolverine will become.

Released in 2009, the film has grossed $373 million worldwide and has delighted audiences who cannot get enough of Wolverine! The film has a riveting plot, but it’s Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine that steals the show!