Hugh Jackman Talks Return to Broadway in THE RIVER: 'I Was Really Affected by the Story Emotionally'
Hugh Jackman will make his return to the Broadway stage in The River, a new Broadway play by Jez Butterworth, co-starring Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo, and directed by Ian Rickson.
Presented by Sonia Friedman Productions, the Royal Court Theatre production of The River will open on Sunday, November 16 on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre (West 50th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue). Previews begin Friday, October 31. The production will play a strictly limited 13-week engagement through Sunday, January 25, 2015.
In a recent interview with Vulture, the actor spoke about his excitment over his return to live theater. "There is a high when a musical is working; when you're onstage singing in front of a crowd, the applause is very visceral, it's ultimately an emotional response." explains Jackman. "The drug of that kind of audience enthusiasm is one I'd be reluctant to let go of. But I think what's driving me now more than anything is to do new material. I get really excited to go and see a play or musical I know nothing about - like I saw Fun Home recently, that thrilled me. I obviously like revivals, too, but it's hard to get your mind or part of your mind away from comparisons. There's a great joy in discovering new material."
Known as the ultimate song and dance man, the 'Les Mis' star revealed that it was only recently that he began to feel confident in his singing abilities. "In terms of musicals, I really only started to really, genuinely enjoy singing in public about four or five years ago," he shares. "I think it took me ten years to get over feeling like I was copying Martin Croft, or that I was a fraud. More than anything, I think I've learned that singing is actually more natural than you think, I just had to get out of my own way."
The 'Pan' star also related his first meeting with 'The River's Jez Butterworth. "One of the first things I asked him was what motivated him to write this story - because I was really affected by the story emotionally, which doesn't always happen. And he said he wanted to give goosebumps." He continued, "It's mysterious, you don't know what's happening next, you're not 100 percent sure where the actors or the writer is going to go to the point where it gives you goosebumps. But I just loved that he has a child's quality, of being very curious, very humble."
Read the interview in full here
Jackman was most recently seen in the movie Prisoners, alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. Other upcoming big screen projects include X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Greatest Showman on Earth. He recently starred in The Wolverine and the Oscar-nominated movie adaptation of Les Miserables.
Jackman last appeared on Broadway in his one-man sensation Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway. His other stage credits include A Steady Rain and The Boy From Oz -- for which he won the 2004 Tony Award -- as well as off-Broadway's Carousel. In 2012, Jackman was honored with a Tony Award Special Award for Extraordinary Contribution to the Theatre Community.