WHY: The Tony-winning thesp is again in blockbuster mode, with a third “X-Men” installment opening in May (and a fourth pic in the series, “Wolverine,” announced for ’07). He also has voice roles in several upcoming animated features — DreamWorks’ “Flushed Away” and Warner’s “Happy Feet” open later this year — as well as leading roles in the Darren Aronofsky-helmed sci-fier “The Fountain” alongside Rachel Weisz and the Christopher Nolan-directed actioner “The Prestige,” which are in varying stages of production. And that’s still not all: Jackman recently wrapped “Scoop,” the next Woody Allen pic, which co-stars Scarlet Johansson, and he has a cameo in Bryan Singer’s upcoming “Superman Returns,” playing the Man of Steel’s young dad in flashback mode.
ABOUT THE MONEY: That’s certainly a lot of B.O. weight to carry. “Look, it is a factor, in that these are huge movies I’m in,” Jackman says. “Maybe having done a little bit of theater before, I sort of get intimidated by that, but I always see it as a great opportunity.”
Does he get wrapped up in the perfs of these big films? “I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be checking up on Saturday morning how the box office results are doing,” he admits. “It’s hard not to get involved in the sport of this business. I’m a huge sport lover. As long as you don’t let it get you down, and don’t get too obsessed, it can be healthy.”
BACK FROM THE FEATURE: With all these pics in the can, Jackman will spend his summer reprising his stage role in “The Boy From Oz” in Australia. Live theater “has always been a part of my career and a part of my life, and I find it very rejuvenating. And it certainly sharpens your craft, having to turn up eight times a week, and hit certain things at different points,” he says.