Hugh Jackman on track for Oscar in Les Miserables
OSCAR buzz surrounds Hugh Jackman's performance in Les Miserables following exclusive screenings in Australia and Hollywood last week.
Jackman, pictured with co-stars Amanda Seyfried and Anne Hathaway, plays reformed convict Jean Valjean in the Tom Hooper-directed musical that also stars fellow Australian Russell Crowe and American actress Anne Hathaway.
The actor, who attended the Sydney screening on Friday night, said he was left "pretty speechless" after seeing the film in its entirety.
"I knew intellectually it was a big risk, but when I saw it I said 'Wow, man. This is massive, a big bone to chew on, that one'. I felt so proud to be part of it," Jackman told Deadline.com.
"This is better than I could have imagined myself, not only in musical terms but in literary terms.
"Jean Valjean is such an iconic character and I think that everything I've done up until now somehow has fed into it," Jackman said.
"It was a daunting role, I will admit that to you, but I put everything into it. I know I had that feeling.
"Russell Crowe and I were talking about it, that you know you're doing something that is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Jackman was also quick to praise director Hooper.
"I think for Tom to do this as his first film after if (The) King's Speech is just an incredible kind of testament to him," he saidntsG told the websitente.
Critic Roger Friedman from Showbiz411.com said Jackman would be nominated for Best Actor Oscar.
"movie hangs on him, and he carries it from beginning to end. It's his best work ever, the pinnacle for him as he combines his musical and dramatic talents," Friedman wrote on the website.
Earlier this year Hooper revealed he was prepared to walk away from the big screen adaptation if Jackman refused to sign on as his leading man.
"I would not have made this film at all if Hugh Jackman did not exist there was no second choice," Hooper told Vogue magazine.
Les Miserables opens in Australia on Boxing Day.
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Star-studded line-up: Amanda Seyfried, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway pose for photographers during a promotional event for Les Miserables in Tokyo last week.