The ‘Wolverine’ star discovered a passion for theatre and musicals when he was growing up in his native Australia and although his dad Chris was supportive of his interest one of his brothers put him off by calling him a “poof”.
Hugh – who has five siblings - said: “I would love to say I was Billy Elliot, but I wasn’t. My dad was like, ‘Terrific,’ but my brother was like, ‘Ah, you poof!’ I was only about 10 or 11, but I remember thinking that this is not a good thing.”
Although his brother initially put him off from pursuing his dream, it was the same sibling who eventually ended up inspiring him to re-connect with acting when he was 18 after having his negative attitude changed by a performance of the musical ‘42nd Street’.
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Speaking to gay and lesbian news website Xtra.ca, the Hollywood hunk explained: “My brother came up to me and said, ‘Man, I want to apologise. I’m such an idiot … you should be up there doing that. It was really a kind of sweet thing for him to say. I joined up the next day.”
It was when he was at university studying to be a journalist that Hugh finally realised he had no choice other than to become an actor when a he took some drama classes which led him to being cast as the lead in a production of Vaclav Havel’s ‘The Memorandum’.
He said: “I was studying to be a journalist, but in the last semester I had to make up two units. Our university had this drama class, and the teacher was famous for just having to turn up to pass … I got the lead (in ‘The Memorandum’) and I begged my teacher. I said, ‘I’m in my finals; I can’t do this play. But I loved it.
“Have you ever had that feeling where you’ve found your people, your tribe? In that week I felt more at home with those people than I did in the entire three years at university.”