Hugh Jackman: My father is my hero

Hugh Jackman. Photo/AP
Hugh Jackman. Photo/AP

Hugh Jackman's father is his hero.

The 44-year-old Australian actor says he is driven by his dad's strength and commitment to raising five children alone after his mother walked out on them to start a new life in England when Jackman was just eight years old.

He explained: "My dad went off to England to bring her back, but by this point she was married to someone else, with a kid. It was really complicated. So when Dad arrived back - not three weeks later, as planned, but five days later - I just knew. I was old enough to go, 'This is not happening.'

"My father could only come to one [school sports] game a year because he had five kids, and on Saturday he had to shop. If my father was there, it would be 50 percent greater. Having his approval is something that still drives me."

Jackman - who has adopted children Oscar, 12, and Ava, seven, with his wife Deborra-Lee Furness - says he chose to devote himself to his father's conservative Protestant church as a teenager and although he is no longer particularly religious, he is grateful for the safe haven it offered him from his family troubles.

The Les Miserables star added in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter: "I was involved with so many things in the church. It was my social group. It was where I met girls. It was sort of my life out of school. Then around 16 or 17, I started questioning. 'How come all these nonbelievers are going to hell?'

- Bang! Showbiz

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