Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman first met when he hosted the Academy Awards in 2009, and turned pals after they co-starred in 2012’s “Les Misérables” — which introduced him an Oscar nomination for greatest actor and her a win for supporting actress. This yr, Jackman drew raves for his position in HBO’s “Unhealthy Schooling” as a charismatic faculty superintendent dwelling a double life. In Amazon’s anthology sequence “Fashionable Love,” Hathaway performed Lexi, a lawyer with bipolar dysfunction, whose life is a film musical when she’s on a excessive — however when she’s low, she’s bedridden. Throughout their dialog, the 2 exuded heat towards one another. And when it got here to an finish, Hathaway instructed they’ve a “Zoom date” with their spouses, Deborra-Lee Furness and Adam Shulman. “Performed!” Jackman stated. “I’ll textual content you after this.” They talked to one another over video chat for Variety‘s Actors on Actors problem.
Anne Hathaway: What I discovered about you once we had been on “Les Miz” is that you just’re so charming and so unflappable, however you’re really actually critical. I feel that somebody like Deb is nice for you, as a result of I feel you guys complement one another.
Hugh Jackman: I’m type of slightly like my dad in that method. Issues can turn into very critical: That is what we have to do. I can simply be slightly critical and slightly boring. Really, Deb will type of say that to me. She’ll be like, “Howdy, good day? Come on, we will have some enjoyable right here!” She’s superior for me.
Hathaway: I by no means discovered you boring. I keep in mind on “Les Miz,” I really feel like that made all of us rise up slightly straighter and dig slightly deeper. As a result of I really feel like with musical theater, it’s really easy to get caught up within the pleasure of it.
Jackman: Thanks. Let me return the praise by saying we rehearsed for 9 weeks, and I keep in mind your first rehearsal. I walked out of that rehearsal, and I rang Deb and stated, “No matter cash you’ve gotten, put it on Anne Hathaway profitable the Oscar.” I simply noticed an Oscar-worthy efficiency.
You got here to the set with all this analysis, which I really discovered via Tom Hooper, our director. He stated, “You need to try this analysis.” It was unbelievable as a result of, with Amy Stevens Hammond, who’s a dramaturg by coaching and now does analysis, every part is sensible. I’ve labored along with her on every part other than Wolverine motion pictures since then, within the final eight years. I really simply acquired all my analysis books from her on “The Music Man.”
Hathaway: “On ‘The Music Man’” — now you’re simply exhibiting off. Did you employ her on “Unhealthy Schooling”?
Jackman: Yeah, I used her for “Unhealthy Schooling.” I really feel an actual weight enjoying somebody who’s alive, who’s dwelling within the Bronx now. I’m depicting the worst time of this man’s life. I’m not doing it to tar and feather him. Clearly, we inform these tales as a cautionary story to study one thing.
That’s the place Amy, to me, was invaluable. She discovered video from a information channel that interviewed him. The precise information piece was 40 seconds, and she had an hour and 15 minutes of the unique, together with the bit the place they needed to cease the interview for somebody to go to the toilet. They only had the digital camera rolling, and Frank is chatting with the digital camera. It was gold.
Did you’re employed with Amy for “Fashionable Love”?
Hathaway: I had Terri Cheney, the lady whose story my episode was based mostly on. I spoke along with her and requested her loads of questions. What annoys her? What upsets her? What does she really feel that tales about bipolar dysfunction get flawed? I used to be asking her loads in regards to the physicality of it, and simply her expertise.
I by no means wish to mistake my emotions for precise work. The rationale I wished to do that episode was as a result of there’s somebody in my life who I do know by no means sees themselves on-screen. What led me to this character, and led me to wish to say sure to this, was as a result of I simply wished to indicate this person who I like them, and that I consider that they’re worthy of affection.
I don’t wish to go into the the reason why storytelling has been the best way it has been. I really feel prefer it has been very based mostly within the idea of fine and unhealthy, black and white, holy and evil. I’m positive these tales completely served a function for a time, but it surely appears like we’re shifting out of that point and right into a grey space.
That’s why I feel your story particularly is admittedly at an distinctive degree. You know the way a lot I like your work. I feel this one could be your greatest.
Jackman: I’ve to say — thanks. I’m actually a nasty decide of my very own work. After I noticed this, I used to be, if I will be goal, I used to be like, “Oh, there’s some stuff in there.” I actually made a acutely aware effort to not plan an excessive amount of. I’m going slightly pink within the face as a result of I really feel like I’m being egotistical in my reply however — it was a movie the place I actually loved letting go extra.
Hathaway: I wish to congratulate you. That’s the primary time within the, I feel, 12 years I’ve recognized you, I’ve ever heard you strategy paying your self a praise. That is actual progress to you. Did [director] Cory Finley do something particularly that made you belief him?
Jackman: Yeah. I’m taking a pause as a result of I don’t assume I’ve advised anybody, however I’m going to inform you — I don’t thoughts telling individuals — I went as much as him simply earlier than we began filming. I stated, “I’ve spent most of my profession considering that my job, if I’m No. 1 on the decision sheet, is to type of be just like the quarterback. Like, give me the ball, coach. I acquired this.”
Due to who Cory was, I might inform who he was as an artist. I made the selection to be trustworthy with him. I’d say to him, “I really feel actually self-conscious at the moment.” Or I’d cease the take and go, “That is actually unhealthy. Can we simply cease for a sec? I simply really feel nervous.” I’d pull him apart and say, “I do know this is among the three actually essential scenes. I simply really feel that stress.” I’ve all the time felt it. I’ve by no means stated it as a result of I believed I’m (A) a bit embarrassed and (B) that’s not going to assist anybody.
He stated, “I can’t allow you to go house except you’re feeling nice.” He stated, “If we don’t have it, we’ll come again and shoot it tomorrow, so don’t fear about that. We’ve acquired that point.”
I feel as I’ve acquired older, I’ve acquired extra courageous in being trustworthy about my fears and my insecurities.
Hathaway: As somebody who loves you, I’m so pleased with you.
Jackman: I keep in mind saying to you on “Les Miz,” “I’m so glad we’re doing this dwell as a result of I hate recording. It’s so self-conscious.” You stated, “You haven’t had sufficient wine.” Do you keep in mind saying that?
I do know somebody who has bipolar; I by no means actually talked to them in depth, and I’m positive there’s lots of people like me who’re going to observe your episode of “Fashionable Love.” I completed — each Deb and I simply went, “Oh, that’s what it’s like.” It’s that speedy and that debilitating method that inside a minute, you’re in mattress, and then you definately’re there for 3 days. I’d love to listen to extra about that.
Hathaway: One of many issues that I discovered after the episode aired was like me, such as you, everybody has somebody of their life that has both bipolar or one thing else — one thing that requires slightly extra space and training. That’s the factor that I can by no means perceive: If all of us love somebody, why on Earth are there stigmas about it? Lots of people advised me that this episode gave them a possibility to speak about it.
I actually understood the burden of strolling round with a psychological situation. It’s lower than people who find themselves already working so exhausting simply to dwell to create space for themselves — it must be the remainder of us. We actually want extra illustration of psychological well being in artwork if a 32-minute episode of a rom-com anthology is talking to this problem and making individuals really feel seen in a method that they by no means have been earlier than.
Jackman: You’ve damaged my coronary heart on-screen a number of occasions. You may have that unimaginable potential to tear your coronary heart open in your efficiency, which ultimately is what it’s all about, proper?
You simply jogged my memory: There’s two administrators I’ve labored with that don’t permit cellphones on set, Darren Aronofsky and Denis Villeneuve. Each of them had precisely the identical motive, which is precisely what you had been saying: It’s about intentionality. Each of them discuss in regards to the area being sacred. Should you’re on a cellphone, it dissipates that vitality.
Hathaway: I don’t wish to contradict you, however you’ve labored with three administrators that don’t permit cellphones: Christopher Nolan.
Jackman: Oh, that’s proper.
Hathaway: Chris additionally doesn’t permit chairs. I labored with him twice. He doesn’t permit chairs, and his reasoning is, you probably have chairs, individuals will sit, and in the event that they’re sitting, they’re not working. I imply, he has these unimaginable motion pictures when it comes to scope and ambition and technical prowess and emotion. It all the time arrives on the finish beneath schedule and beneath finances. I feel he’s onto one thing with the chair factor.
Jackman: You dropped Christopher Nolan properly, properly achieved. Two movies, I like that. Are you able to discuss to me about enjoying Catwoman?
Hathaway: You know the way you’ve gotten these jobs and you simply go, “I don’t know the way I’m going to work once more as a result of this was such enjoyable.” I’m such a director nerd. I like simply searching for out the most effective administrators I can and then simply watching them.
Chris’ entire strategy to filmmaking is one in every of my favourite ones. He’s damaged it right down to its most minimal, but additionally his motion pictures are simply so enormous and ornate. That mixture of actually being intentional about what it was that we had been doing — and additionally, he’s simply so inspiring.
That was what he advised me to get me to embrace the bodily facet of the character. What was it like for you as Wolverine? As a result of I needed to do it as soon as, and it was actually intense. What number of occasions did you play Wolverine?
Jackman: I did 9 motion pictures, however a pair had been cameo-ish form of issues. Actually, seven motion pictures. I discovered a lot over these years. I really feel so blessed to have the half, and I’m taking on a personality that’s so beloved to so many. I’ll decide to that daily of the week, proper? I’ll give 110%.
The final scene of “Logan,” for instance, the place my character is dying, I feel one of the vital stunning strains written for the character, which is, “Ah, so that is what it appears like.”
Hathaway: Have been you in that area the place you’re like, “I don’t know if I’m me or if I’m the character proper now”? As a result of it occurred to me that you just as Hugh had been saying goodbye to the character on the identical time that Logan was saying goodbye to his life.
Jackman: Yeah, there have been so many crossovers by the top, as a result of I’d performed it for therefore lengthy. I knew it was going to be my final a method earlier than we wrote it. I made that call. There was a weight of expectation that I’d been carrying.
I used to be tremendous invested. I felt so in it. I used to be working with a director that I labored with 3 times earlier than, who I belief implicitly, Jim Mangold. I keep in mind once we shot that scene, we had been taking pictures very excessive altitude, and there have been thunderstorms going off all over the place, and we needed to shut down. He simply stated: “We are able to’t do that huge stunt scene. However we’re simply going to do the dying scene.” I’m like, “Like, now?” He goes, “I’m simply going to have you ever and Dafne [Keen], and if you happen to might simply do this.” I’m like, “All proper.” He knew that’s greatest for me.
We acquired there and we’re taking pictures the scene. Dafne was 11. She was improbable. We shot Dafne, and she rotated in two takes and he goes, “Let’s simply kick out. Let’s do one other.” I stated, “You positive? I really feel like,” and he goes, “Man, let’s simply cease the clocks. Let’s not fear about every part. This is the top of 19 years.”
Jackman: Sit in it for half an hour, and he rolled the cameras. Him simply permitting me that second — as a result of I’m such as you: I’m conscious of every part. Him simply permitting me to simply type of, not simply as an actor however as Hugh, to do not forget that second. It was a luxurious that I’ll always remember.
Hathaway: Hugh, there’s one thing we’ve by no means talked about, and I feel we have to clear the air. You set me up badly while you requested me to seem on the Oscars that you just hosted, since you made it appear straightforward, and it’s actually, actually not. You probably did such a tremendous job and you had been so chill at rehearsals, and you simply made every part seem to be it was a lot enjoyable.
When it got here round, and they requested me to do it, I used to be like, “I wish to be like Hugh. Yeah, I’ll give it a go.” How might you? How might you set me up like that?
What made you resolve that you just wished to do it? How did you really put the present collectively? Since you did it so properly.
Jackman: I used to be on a press tour once I acquired the decision. I simply stated sure, as a result of it was Spielberg calling, proper? You simply say sure. I’m a child from Sydney, Australia, proper? I simply requested myself the query, OK, if you happen to’re on your deathbed and somebody goes, “Yeah, I feel I ought to have achieved the Oscars however I used to be a bit scared.” Then, you don’t wish to be going, “Yeah, I actually ought to have achieved it.”
I keep in mind Deb strolling in, it was 5 minutes later. She walked into the room and she checked out me, she goes, “Are you OK?” I stated, “You’re about to get within the mattress with a bunch of the 81st Academy Awards.” She goes, “Billy Crystal is right here?” which is cool.
Then, simply earlier than I went on, I went into the vortex 30 seconds earlier than [stage manager] Valdez [Flagg]— you keep in mind within the dreadlocks, the occasion stage supervisor for 20-30 years or one thing — he’s like, “Come and stand right here by the curtain a minute, 45 seconds, 30 seconds.” I simply began to enter the abyss of worry. I’m searching and I can see Meryl Streep. I used to be wanting down like this, and we get to 15 seconds. He goes, “Good luck on the market. Mr. Jackman, don’t neglect, there’s a few billion individuals watching.”
It simply made me giggle and chortle. Should you ever watch me strolling on, I’m wanting again into the wings laughing. I really assume Valdez saved the present for me. I feel I might need gone out shaking.
Hathaway: That’s stunning.
Jackman: He simply might see, this man goes right into a darkish place and I must snap him out of it. It’s horrifying, and typically it really works out.
Hathaway: End that sentence, Hugh! End that sentence, typically it really works out and typically —?
Jackman: Oh, cease it. Cease. Come on. By the best way, I keep in mind visiting you backstage earlier than you hosted and you had been having simply a lot enjoyable. I used to be like, I used to be not this calm and relaxed beneath me however you’re exhibiting me, “Take a look at all these costumes I get to put on.” You keep in mind?
Hathaway: I used to be focusing on the elements of the present that I knew labored. You know the way typically your optimism ideas into delusion and you’re identical to, “If I’m simply actually, very nice to all people, every part’s going to work out.” It didn’t work in that case, however I’m so comfortable that 50% of the individuals on this dialog did a extremely good job internet hosting the Oscars.