Hugh Jackman has confessed that in the middle of the 1990s, he once went on the long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours for an audition, only to later turn down the job.
The 54-year-old Hollywood icon explained his decision to decline what would have been his first-ever television job in an interview with Variety.
He had recently graduated from college and finished the one-year ‘The Journey’ acting programme at the Sydney Actors’ Centre when he signed with an agency.
After accepting the part, Jackman made the decision to continue his education in theatre by enrolling in a three-year programme at the esteemed Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
He told Variety, “I said, “I don’t trust that once I start [acting professionally], I’m going to go back and learn.”
In the past, Jackman has discussed his almost-part in Neighbours, which helped launch the careers of Kylie Minogue, Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, and other actors.
The Wolverine actor admitted to being “startled” when he received the offer in the 1990s on Sky Arts’ BAFTA: Life in Pictures in 2019.
I was given a job opportunity by Neighbors. I was stunned,’ he remembered.
I was taking classes on the side. After receiving this employment offer, I went to an audition at the famed Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). And on the same day I received my Neighbors offer, I also received one for acting school.
Jackman decided to pursue his education because he believed it would help him achieve his goals.
I ultimately chose the theatre school, he added, “primarily because my ambition would be to one day be at the National Theatre, to one day be at the Royal Shakespeare Company.”
I believed that was the best place in the world to act after watching the John Barton tapes and those amazing actors.
Deborra-Lee Furness, the actress who played Linda Fielding in Neighbours in 1985, was married to Hugh Jackman.
She then rose to the position of soap opera director.