My Night With Hugh Jackman Ch. 01byanthony1979©
Edited by 'Angel Love'.
I guess I should start by telling you my name, or at least give you a name to refer to me by. Umm . . . let's see . . . John Frawley. That has a nice ring to it. I'm not going to tell you my real name as some of you Aussies may have heard of me! The year this incredible night took place was 1998 and I was an aspiring actor with hopes and dreams of making something of myself. Not 'Hollywood' mind you, but just being able to get my face out there and being involved in projects with actual money involved. The Australian Film and Television industry was a sorry mess (as it still is now). I was 19 years old, 5 foot 9 inches tall, boyish looks, with an athletic build that I was trying to bulk up at the gym.
I was told that I was good looking (probably due to my European background), slightly tanned with dark brown eyes and short dark brown spiky hair. I always tried to look my best as you need to have the looks as well as the talent in the industry. My only flaw was a light scar that ran down the side of my neck that was due to a car accident when I was young. I was also one of those people that were lucky enough not to look their age. I could get away with playing a 17-year-old or I could look like someone in their early 20's if the part called for it.
At the time I was a University drop out and looking for the opportunity to further my acting ability at various acting schools. I made a living working part time at a video store and doing any sort of stage work. It was after one of the plays that I was doing at the time that I was approached by a young inexperienced film maker named Kurt Young and he offered me the opportunity to star in a movie that he was trying to make.
He was a really nice guy with big dreams of becoming the next Spielberg and it was a treat listening to him talk so enthusiastically about what he hoped to achieve with his film 'The Violet Eye.' It was a strangely metaphoric title for a story about a gay High school teacher who falls in love with his student. At first, when he pitched the idea to me I was hesitant – not because of the subject matter but as to whether this could be a film that people would want to see.
I've found that too many films that deal with taboo subject matter become too melodramatic and are just taboo for taboo's sake if you know what I mean. (I know you're probably thinking you're a struggling actor! Take what you can get dickhead! But that's the sort of person I am – hesitant about everything!!) But the more he told me about it; the way the chemistry between these two characters would work and the way the story would address the very nature of love in the way that it did, I became as enthusiastic listening to it as Kurt was telling it to me! I thought that maybe he had me in mind for a small part and you could imagine my surprise when he offered me the part of the student! Of course, I wanted to jump at the chance but alas, the film was still in its infancy and he needed to get decent funding to get it made into a full movie length motion picture.
The way it was to work was that Kurt had culled the script down to about half an hour's length and he was to shoot a short film version of the story keeping some of the main elements of the narrative intact. He was then going to shop it around to investors in a bid to secure more funding so he could shoot the rest of the film. He had enough funding for the short version and said that I was the first to be cast. He still had no idea who the teacher was going to be played by but he had a few contacts that were shopping the shortened screenplay around. He wanted me to go home and think about whether I'd be willing to do what the screenplay called for – namely the male on male sex scene.
Kurt assured me it was going to be filmed tastefully. That didn't bother me though. I've never been homophobic and I have a few gay friends that I love dearly. I went home that night ecstatic at the prospect of starring in my first movie!
Kurt sent me a copy of the shortened screenplay and the appropriate paperwork a few days later. I couldn't wait to delve into the script and at thirty pages; I was finished before I had begun! Let me tell you, even at half an hour long, the script was amazing.
I had read many scripts before 'The Violet Eye' but nothing had come close to capturing the nature of the human heart as this one had. I know that sounds like I'm over-exaggerating but it was a tragedy that this film never got to see the light of day as it would have made stars of everyone involved, I kid you not! As soon as I finished I signed on the dotted line without a moment's hesitation and called Kurt to tell him I was eagerly on board.
"Kurt I'm definitely in!" I said.
"That's great John. Hey I've found you a teacher!"
"Hugh Jackman, heard of him?"
I had to confess, I had no idea who he was. He was still a relatively unknown actor and had apparently wrapped up 'Paperback Hero' a few months before. He hadn't signed on to what was to become 'Erskineville Kings' yet. Kurt had arranged a meeting with Hugh at a restaurant in the city and wanted me to be there in two days time.
"I'll be there, 7:00 p.m. sharp," I said enthusiastically.
I was there at 6:30 anxiously waiting. I was so hoping this movie would be my big break, I had such faith that I could not only play this role well but that it was going to be a career defining project, something people would say, "Hey didn't that guy do 'The Violet Eye?'" when they would walk past me in the street. I pushed all of these thoughts aside when I saw Hugh and Kurt walking up the footpath.
Now I take it that everyone reading this knows what Hugh Jackman looks like so I won't go into great descriptive detail except that he was wearing a casual black suit which given his amazing physique, seemed to mold to his body like a glove. He wore a deep red colored shirt underneath his jacket and his top button was undone exposing a tuft of chest hair. His hair was messy, but stylish messy and kind of flicked back. I remember thinking to myself Christ he's good looking which startled me a bit as I've never considered myself gay or physically attracted to the same sex. Even though I had plenty of offers to sleep with men, I found that I simply wasn't attracted to them sexually. I guess I went against the pre-conceived stereotype that all actors are gay. But Hugh . . . Hugh was different.
He came up to me with a dashing smile on his face, put his hand out and said, "Hi John I'm Hugh."
I stood there momentarily as a fleeting image of me passionately kissing this Adonis standing in front of me sent blood racing through my body – (and to the one place no man wants it to run to when they're in the wrong company)!
I snapped out of it and shyly said, "Nice to meet you."
"Well let's get our table," Kurt said ushering us into the restaurant.
Dinner went extremely well. We talked about the project, about how we were going to play the characters, the shooting locations, etc. Hugh and I hit it off straight away. I felt completely comfortable around him and before long it was like I was just catching up with a long lost friend that I hadn't seen in ages. Before long, the subject of the sex scene came about and Kurt had very specific ideas about how it should go.
"The important thing is that it has to be passionate and believable. Hugh, your character Rick knows that his feelings for Grant are wrong, and the scene needs to show both the unbridled passion Rick feels for Grant and the self loathing he feels for allowing himself to feel this way. John, when you play Grant in this scene, try to show the yearning that he has for Rick. Throughout the story, Grant is like the nurturing one, he tries to assure Rick that it's ok to have these feelings and that Rick could have peace with himself if he would learn to just let go of his guilt."
"How should the scene play out in terms of breaking it down into actions? The script is a little vague as to what we should be doing," Hugh said. This was what I was wondering as well, how much 'passion' would there need to be between us.
"You're right Hugh, I'll give you a revision of the script which will go into further detail but in the meantime I'm thinking that the scene plays out like this: Rick is at Grant's home and has just spent the day tutoring him. They're alone. Rick goes to leave but it's raining heavily outside and he can't start his car. He's getting drenched as he tries to check under the hood and he comes back inside to call his mate Max the mechanic. The camera will be showing how Grant is admiring Rick's physique that can be seen as his wet clothes cling to him. As Grant gets a towel and begins toweling Rick off, he takes the phone receiver away from him before he can call. Rick turns around and meets his gaze as Grant continues to towel him at which point, the lust between them can no longer be denied.
You share a kiss but then Rick, conflicted as he is, pulls away and tries to get back to the phone. Rick is both horny and pissed off at the fact that he can't go with his feelings – Hugh, I'll leave it up to you to play that in whatever way you think suits the scene. Grant then grabs Rick by the shoulder, turning him around and forces him to kiss again. Rick in turn takes Grant by the waist and lifts him up against the wall, lips locked. You make your way to the sofa where Rick sits down and Grant straddles on top of him, taking off his wet shirt. The scene fades out soon after. Uh, John, you will need to sit very close on top of Hugh – I want you to be chest to chest."
My head momentarily swam. This was sounding so fucking hot to me and I couldn't believe I was getting so turned on! Again I had to snap out of the moment and said, "That's totally fine, I understand. Hugh are you ok with that?"
He looked at me and smiled. "Completely mate."
There was an uncomfortable silence. No one knew what to say after that scene description until Hugh raised his glass and decided to break the ice, "Sure is an interesting industry we work in. Today its fine dining with fine people, tomorrow – you John, shall be sitting on my crotch!"
Well Kurt and I almost pissed ourselves! Hugh had said it in such a matter of fact way that we we're both in hysterics! We both raised our glasses and toasted Hugh on his words of wisdom.
Later that evening Kurt had to leave after he received a call from his wife Wendy saying he was needed at home. We learned that Wendy was due to go into labor with their first child at any moment and she needed him. We said goodbye to Kurt and spent the rest of the night talking about everything. Hugh wanted to know all about me, everything that I had done and aspired to do. I told him all about my favorite actors, the best roles that I had played, the plays that I hated acting in, everything; and he listened intently, never interrupting me.
He was so charismatic and passionate about the littlest of things – nothing was trivial to him. Funnily enough, throughout all the talking he did, I didn't learn much about him except for things that happened to him in his younger years before he was an actor which was fine but it wasn't until later, (at the end of the night) that I realized why he left certain details out. As he talked, I was starting to think of what it would be like to kiss him, and to have him close to me. Before we knew it, it was eleven o'clock and the restaurant had mostly cleared out.
"Suppose we should get going," I regretfully said as Hugh looked at his watch.
"Well I was thinking, if you don't need to get up too early tomorrow, did you want to rehearse some of the script? I'm not tired are you?" Hugh asked.
"N-No, no way nu-huh!" I stammered like a complete fucking retard. Hugh laughed, his beaming smile lighting up his entire face.
"Good! Is your place ok?"
"Yeah totally! My room mate's in Perth so I'm by myself for the next couple of weeks," I replied.
"Perfect! Let's go," Hugh said as he called for the check. He refused to let Kurt or I pay for any part of the meal.
We walked out onto the footpath and tried in vain to hail a taxi. It just so happened that the annual city festival was on and there were people everywhere. Taxis were driving past us, each with passengers on board. After about 10 minutes I suggested we use the train as we were close by the station. We made our way down, sifting through the myriad of party people.
We finally managed to get on the train but even that was a hassle. We were like a tightly packed can of sardines – people crammed the carriages wall to wall. We both managed to find a spot near a window, I had my back to the wall and Hugh stood in front of me with his hand resting just above the wall behind. God he was so close to me I could smell him. Our faces were literally inches apart and we just looked at each other silently for a minute. The train suddenly jerked and we were on our way.
I wanted to move forward and kiss those incredible lips – it would have been so easy, he was so close but I didn't – I couldn't. I tried to get it out of my mind by making small talk but that was hard as there were a few drunks on the train making a racket. One such drunk decided it would be funny to push his friend over and being squashed as we were, as the friend fell, so did the few people behind him – one of them being Hugh. Hugh suddenly fell forward on top of me and as I fell back against the wall behind, I swung my arms around and grabbed the one thing that I was able to latch on to – Hugh!
It was reflex, I wrapped my arms around him and tried to use him as leverage to break my fall but luckily the wall behind me stopped most of my decent – but it didn't stop my sheer embarrassment as I realized that not only was I bear hugging Hugh but I had my face buried in his neck as his weight was on top of me. I won't lie, I was in complete heaven and I could have kissed the drunken wanker for making Hugh land on top of me as he did! All I could see was Hugh's Adam's apple and I could feel the chest hair that was protruding from the top of his shirt on my lips. I didn't want to let go. I wanted to be this close to him always, to have my arms around him and my face in the nape of his neck. I inhaled his scent and closed my eyes for a second before regretfully coming back down to earth.
"Whoa Jesus Christ! Fucking idiots!" Hugh said angrily as he slowly got up and glared at the drunken louts who were laughing at each other. He turned back and saw how red in the face I was.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Hugh, I'm sorry I didn't know what to grab –"
He laughed as he put his manly hand on my shoulder, leant down to my ear and said softly, "It's ok buddy. You were just getting into character!" He stood back up and winked at me. I smiled back at him, blushing even more.
I had noticed that people were gradually getting off at various stations and there was more room to move around. But Hugh stayed exactly in the same spot. I was sure he could tell he had more room to move back but he stayed put, inches away from me.
We got off at the next station and walked the rest of the way to my house. I lived in an 'artsy' part of town – a row of 100 year old commission townhouses lined the street filled with struggling artists like me. (I was lucky enough to inherit my very nice house from my aunt after she passed away a few years back. She loved me like a son after her own son died). Every one of my neighbors was like a best friend. I got along with everyone and Hugh enjoyed listening to me tell him about each of them as we passed them by.
"That's where Jacob Talbot a retired Scottish army Officer lives; he owns a pottery shop that he stocks with weird hand-made Zen sculptures. Over there is where Silvia Goldman lives; she teaches different types of dancing at a studio down town. She's an asthmatic chain smoker – fucked if I know how she hasn't dropped dead of a heart attack yet! In her spare time she writes unpublished erotica novels. And that's where Auntie Evelyn Van Den Brock a retired table top dancer lives. She's not really my auntie but she likes to be called that. She's now a struggling nudist painter."
"They sound great! There would never be a dull moment around here!" Hugh said beaming at me.
"Hey Sonny boy, watcha walkin' away so fast for, come and give Auntie a hug!" A shrill ecstatic voice rang down from the top floor of Evelyn's townhouse.
"Hey sexy minx, I can't reach you from way up there ya silly bitch!" I shouted back to her as she roared with a hearty laugh. Hugh was taken aback by my brash words but I reassured him that it was ok; she had a very wild personality and a very wicked sense of humor.
As she hurriedly came down the stairs Hugh asked me quizzically,"What's with Sonny boy?"
"She doesn't have any children of her own so in a way all of the younger neighbors became like her surrogates. It took me awhile to get used to her, but the woman has an absolute heart of gold and not one bad bone in her body. Whenever any of us in the street are feeling down in the dumps we all come to see her and every time without fail she picks us up and we leave her house feeling on top of the world."
"Oh yeah and what sordid things does she do to you, huh? Huh?" Hugh said with a mirthful chuckle. I playfully punched him in the arm.
"It's not like that ya dirty bastard!" He put his arm around my shoulders as he giggled and I quickly pushed down my disobedient cock as it half heartedly sprung to life in response to Hugh's manly bonding.
"Are you coming out or what?" I happily shouted just as Evelyn came bounding out of her front door.
She was in her mid fifties, wearing a long multicolored tie-dyed dress that flowed from side to side with every motion of her body like a river of rainbow. A colorful bandana was wrapped around her head in an attempt to conceal her thinning ashen hair. She ran to me as fast as she could, laughing her merry laugh, clumsily gliding to me like an overweight pixie. I opened my arms waiting for this free spirit to welcome me as she always had. We collided and Hugh and I couldn't help but laugh along with her, she was infectious, precious and rare like all good things in the world.
"How have you been?!! It's been almost two weeks!! Why haven't you come to see me you naughty boy." Evelyn said radiating with the warmth and care that only a mother could give.
"I know, I know Auntie but I've been busy with work and hey, guess what? I'm going to be staring in my first movie!!"
"OOOHH OH MY GOD!! MY BOY'S GOING TO BE IN HIS FIRST MOVIE! She delightfully screamed before planting a huge kiss on my cheek. I was sure that she woke up half of the street with her gleeful outburst but I didn't care, and neither did any of the neighbors. They all loved her as much as I did.
"And who's this handsome strapping man standing next to you," she gasped as she regained some of her composure and looked intently at Hugh.
"This is Hugh Jackman, he's starring in the movie with me," I said. Evelyn put her hand out and Hugh, being the charmer that he was, responded by taking it in his own hand and lightly kissing it.
"It's an absolute honor and pleasure to meet you Auntie Evelyn," Hugh said in his deep brooding voice.
"Oh my . . . Wooo!" Evelyn fanned her face which had gone bright red as Hugh gazed at her smiling.
"Sonny boy, please tell me the movie you're in together involves you making passionate love to this man otherwise I may just have to pin him down right now myself!!"
Hugh burst into a fit of uncomfortable laughter. For the first time I saw Hugh lose his composure. He didn't know how to respond and I found the shy little boy that he had suddenly become to be completely endearing. I was so used to Evelyn's brash inappropriateness that it didn't even faze me anymore. That's what I loved about her, she always said what was on her mind and you always knew that she was telling you the truth.