Jackman was born in Sydney, New South Wales, the son of Grace McNeil (née Greenwood) and Christopher John Jackman, a Cambridge-trained accountant. His parents were English-born, and had come to Australia, in 1967, as part of the "Ten Pound Poms" immigration. One of Jackman's paternal great-grandfathers was Greek. His parents were devout Christians, having been converted by Evangelist Billy Graham after their marriage. Jackman has four older siblings, and was the second of his parents' children to be born in Australia. He also has a younger half-sister, from his mother's re-marriage. His parents divorced when he was eight, and Jackman remained in Australia with his father and Jackman's two brothers, while his mother moved back to England with Jackman's two sisters. As a child, Jackman liked the outdoors, spending a lot of time at the beach and on camping trips and vacations all over Australia. He wanted to see the world: "I used to spend nights looking at atlases. I decided I wanted to be a chef on a plane. Because I'd been on a plane and there was food on board, I presumed there was a chef. I thought that would be an ideal job."
Jackman went to primary school at Pymble Public School and later attended the all-boys Knox Grammar School on Sydney's Upper North Shore, where he starred in its production of My Fair Lady in 1985, and became the captain of the school in 1986. Following graduation, he spent a gap year working at Uppingham School in England. On his return, he studied at the University of Technology, Sydney, graduating in 1991 with a BA in Communications. In his final year of university, he took a drama course to make up additional credits. The class did Václav Havel's The Memorandum with Jackman as the lead. He later commented, "In that week I felt more at home with those people than I did in the entire three years ".
After obtaining his BA, Jackman completed the one-year course "The Journey" at the Actors' Centre in Sydney. About studying acting full-time, he stated, "It wasn't until I was 22 that I ever thought about my hobby being something I could make a living out of. As a boy, I'd always had an interest in theater. But the idea at my school was that drama and music were to round out the man. It wasn't what one did for a living. I got over that. I found the courage to stand up and say, 'I want to do it'." After completing "The Journey", he was offered a role on the popular soap opera Neighbours but turned it down to attend the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts of Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia, from which he graduated in 1994.
Jackman has said he "always loved acting but when I started at drama school I was like the dunce of the class. It just wasn’t coming right to me. Everyone was cooler, everyone seemed more likely to succeed, everyone seemed more natural at it and in retrospect I think that is good. I think it is good to come from behind as an actor. I think it is good to go into an audition thinking 'Man I’ve got to be at my best to get this gig.'"
Read more about this topic: Hugh Jackman
Famous quotes related to early life:
“Many a woman shudders ... at the terrible eclipse of those intellectual powers which in early life seemed prophetic of usefulness and happiness, hence the army of martyrs among our married and unmarried women who, not having cultivated a taste for science, art or literature, form a corps of nervous patients who make fortunes for agreeable physicians ...”
—Sarah M. Grimke (17921873)