Australian actor Hugh Jackman certainly has a can-do spirit. Besides acting, he sings, plays several instruments, dances, hosts, and produces films. Jackman is also known for the versatility of the roles he plays; he’s a great fit in romantic comedies, superhero movies, action-horror films, dramas, musicals, mystery thrillers as well as giving voice to animated-film characters. In this British Academy of Film and Television Awards’ Guru video clip, the multi-talented star shares acting advice about the importance of ridding any and all performance doubts in addition to discussing some of the cultural differences between the Australian and American film industries.

When it comes to working with various directors throughout his career, Jackman feels that communication is key. The Wolverine star says, “I’m open. I talk about my process to them, I talk about how I’m feeling, I talk about questions I have–even stupid questions. I will always get them out because I think the last thing you ever want to have in front of the camera is doubt–in any way, shape, or form–about the character you’re playing, about what story you’re trying to tell, or about what you’re trying to achieve.”

In fact, it seems that Jackman has a real fear of fear itself. Previously he said, “I’ve always felt that if you back down from a fear, the ghost of that fear never goes away. It diminishes people. So I’ve always said yes to the thing I’m most scared about. The fear of letting myself down–of saying no to something that I was afraid of and then sitting in my room later going, ‘I wish I’d had the guts to say this or that’–that galvanizes me more than anything.”

Thus, Jackman is a big fan of putting himself in uncomfortable situations. Some of his favorite personal performances are those in which he had to overcome nerves, and in doing so, took more risks than he otherwise would have. 

“I would say to young actors, ‘It’s okay, be nervous. Say you’re nervous. For twenty years, I never did. I hid it; I tried to hide it. Say it. And it’s usually relieving–maybe not on the 20th take, but certainly, when you walk in, it’s fine.”

Hugh enjoys being friendly on set with all members of the cast and crew. He explains why he prefers the emotional climate that is common on the shoots in his homeland down under. According to Jackman, in the Australian film industry, “Everyone talks to everyone. If they’re not making fun of you, then they really don’t like you.” He contrasts this social aspect with his work in the states, saying:

When I first went to America, I noticed there was an unspoken … slightly unwritten rule of ‘Leave the actor alone, let them do their thing.’ It could be our process, it could because we’re a star, I don’t know. And I always try literally on the first day to break that down because I feel self-conscious in that environment. I’d much prefer a grip making fun of me than calling me ‘Mr. Jackman,” and then say nothing at all; they say, ‘Thank you, it’s been great working with you.’ You know, I’d much prefer to feel that we’re in it together.”

Jackman’s is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine/Logan in the X-Men series, along with his Golden Globe-winning role as Jean Valjean in the film Les Miserables  for which he also received an Oscar nod. More recently, he portrayed the ambitious showman and entrepreneur P.T. Barnum in the musical The Greatest Showman for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. In addition, Jackman took home a Tony award for his theater work in The Boy from Oz.

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