The 44-year-old actor was born and grew up in Sydney, Australia, and raised by his English parents Christopher and Grace Jackman.
Hugh - who has four siblings and one half-sister - believes the combination of living in Australia where guys are encouraged to be tough and his father's reserved English nature imprinted on him that it is a sign of weakness to for a guy to show his emotions.
He told Cosmopolitan magazine: "Growing up in Australia, my opinion of masculinity is that you don't show your feelings. A real man doesn't cry. My father is classic English - emotionally shut down - although in the past 10 years, he seems to have cried at every family reunion."
Although that was the way 'The Wolverine' star was raised, Hugh insists he is comfortable to show his feelings and believes it takes a real man to be able to cry and speak about his feelings.
The screen hunk - who is married to 57-year-old actress Deborra-Lee Furness, with whom he has two children, Oscar and Ava - was inspired by the open nature of Italian men when he visited the European country.
He explained: "The real measure of a man is to be you. It's OK to show emotion. After travelling to Italy I've learnt that I prefer their way. There, men can show emotion; they can be affectionate and still be masculine."