Hugh Jackman Doesn’t Read Movie Reviews

Prisoners Hugh Jackman

Meanwhile, "Prisoners" co-star Jake Gyllenhaal doesn't follow box office reports

Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal may have both starred in critically-acclaimed, record-breaking films, but the two actors don’t fixate on movie reviews or box office reports.

The stars of Denis Villeneuve’s new thriller “Prisonerssat down with Variety earlier this month to discuss the gritty film after its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

Jackman, who, uncharacteristically, read Variety’s rave “Prisoners” review because his publicist passed it on to him, said his theater background made him adverse to reading reviews for fear of focusing solely on the negativity.

“I don’t read reviews,” Jackman said. “I’m too thin-skinned. It sort of came from the theater actually with me. In the theater, (reviews) mess you up, good and bad. Because you got to go out there every night and people’s opinions about it, even if it’s down to someone (writes), ‘Ahhh, love the way Mr. Jackman says this line.’ And then forget it, that line’s dead, forever more.”

Although there were times in his career when he paid attention to box office results, Gyllenhaal said he’s less and less curious about the fickle financial indicator of success.

“It’s roll the dice,” he said. “If you enjoy gambling, which at times I do, but most of the time, I’m not very good at. I just prefer to stick to trying to pick the projects that move me and believe that if they move me and I put everything I can into them, that they will be seen and hopefully by a large number of people.”

Gyllenhaal also lamented that box office results make weekly headlines.

“It’s interesting too that most people walking down the street, not even involved in the business at all, already know what (the number one movie in the box office) is,” Gyllenhaal said. “It takes a great mystery out of the whole process and a little bit of the magic of the whole thing.”

Jackman did admit to checking CinemaScore, a service that polls moviegoers immediately following film premieres.

“That’s probably the closest thing as a performer you get to what it’s like being on stage,” Jackman said. “You know on stage if they’re digging it or not. You know before the curtain, right?”

Critics and festival goers are definitely digging “Prisoners,” which aims to generate up to $20 million this opening weekend.

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