The Boyfriend of the Week

 

January 8, 2001

Before I get started on this week's intended, I just wanted to let you all know that Ray Walston, ex-Boyfriend extraordinaire, died last week of natural causes. He was 86. Rather than attempt to relate all of his wonderful attributes here, I encourage you to check out his write-up for a refresher and then spend a few moments today being just a little on the blue side in memory. He was a great guy and I will miss him.

But, let's put the gloom aside for a sec, now, because it's time to say "Welcome to the first Boyfriend of the Week issue of 2001"! To start off the new millenium (those of you who partied at the 1999/2000 changeover really messed up. Well, except that it meant you got to have a millenium party two years in a row, which is pretty cool), I thought I'd feature someone who will probably be completely unknown to the majority of you. Yup, I figured I'd start 2001 out by giving you guys a little education in yet another Australian actor who is about to burst onto the major Hollywood scene and take the world by storm.

First we had Russell Crowe. He quickly became a major star after my write-up debuted (oh, the power). Next came Heath Ledger. And, whoa, did HE ever hit it big time after he appeared on my page. Ya-hoo!

Now it's time for the latest Aussie to hit the American screens, Hugh Jackman. If you don't recognize him, there's one very good reason for that -- you haven't seen the movie "X-Men" yet. Hey, that's okay. I hadn't seen it myself until a few weeks ago. But rest assured, dear readers, you will be seeing it soon. How do I know this? Because your other New Year's gift from me (in case you already forgot what my first gift was, just take a look at those pictures above again -- hubba hubba) is a little spell I'm going to put on you. It's the "Do What I Say" spell (stole it from my parents). When I say the word "ShaZAM!" you will go under the spell and it cannot be broken until MacGyver drops by to give me a smooch. So, in other words, you're mine for life.

SHAZAM!!

What this means is that when I tell you to go rent a movie, you are going to go and rent that movie! No more excuses, no more "Blockbuster didn't have it in stock," no more "Aliens kidnapped me on the way to the video store" and nooooo more "My fiance is on strike so I can't afford to rent movies anymore." Oops, that's my excuse (I hope you Seattle Times subscribers have dropped your patronage.)

So, you're saved, people. Saved from your own inability to get it in gear. You will go rent "The X-Men" as soon as you've completed reading this. And then after you've watched it, you WILL send me an email message that tells me what a genius I am and how grateful you are for this spell I've put over you. Yesssss, you will. You are getting very very sleepy.

My reason for these commands is simple: Hugh Jackman is a total and complete babe and I want him sticking around for a long time. Seriously. It took me awhile to gather some good pics of him for you, but you all should be impressed. Hugh is kind of a newbie to the major-star scene, so finding good web sites isn't all that easy (though it helps that he's now a comic-book hero). My traditional first step (www.[plug in person's name].com) got me a site on him, but they had this nasty little thing at the top that said, "Use these photos on your own site, and you die" (well, that's a paraphrase). You'll note that that web site is not in the list of approved Hugh Jackman links below. That's because when I want to find pictures, I want to find them fast and I want to find them good. When that plan is foiled by some copyright-nazi, it makes me testy. Especially since my interpretation of "fair use" says it's totally okay for me to use pictures that are copyrighted. After all, am I not using them for non-profit educational reasons?

Word up. Power to the people!

But none of this is neither here nor there (huh?). It's over at Hugh Jackman's instead. Because Hugh is gorgeous, smart, and talented, and he's got the credentials to prove it. Before Hugh was Wolverine (his role in "X-Men"), he was a, believe it or not, musical theater star. He even played my favorite character in the stage version of "Beauty and the Beast" -- the Frenchie candlestick guy. Now, of course, I did not see Hugh playing this role in a theater (or anywhere else for that matter) because I have a personal rule about musicals and it is this: Avoid. But I don't mind a Disney cartoon from time to time, which is how I know who the candlestick guy is. Put 2 and 2 together and what you get is 4, my friends.

Which brings us back full-circle to Hugh. I did mention he was gorgeous didn't I? To be honest, at first I didn't even recognize him in a couple of the pictures above. Without the claws and the chops, he hardly looks like himself. Happily, both chopped and unchopped (hiiiiYAH!), he's an absolute dreamboat, if you'll pardon the (lame) expression. Just look at those eyes! And that smile! And, holy frijoles, those biceps!

And, best of all, Hugh has, and you knew this was coming, an accent. Of course, since I've only seen him play the Canadian (woo!) Wolverine character, this isn't an accent I've experienced first hand. You know, this is going to sound really dumb, but it really impresses the heck out of me when foreigners successfully fake American (or American-sounding Canadian) "accents." They seem to be so much better at it than we are at faking theirs (there have been some movies wherein the accent was done so badly, I almost had to STOP THE TAPE. And it's got to be pretty dang bad for me to give up on a movie.) (For example, see Kevin Costner in Robin Hood.) (Or rather, DON'T see Kevin Costner in Robin Hood).

Where was I going with this? Oh yes, accent accent accent. I don't know what it is about foreign accents that makes me absolutely bonkers with irrational desire, but all the reason in the world isn't going to do a dang bit of good at fixing my problem. Though I am not marrying someone with such an accent, I will admit to you that the first thing that made me really want to smooch the heck out of my fiance was when he talked to me in Russian. And then in English with a Russian accent. Remember Gomez and Morticia? Same thing only change it to Russian and make the names Jim and Meg.

The bad news, and there always is some, is that Hugh Jackman is not only married, he's crazy in love and just had his first baby. There are photos of Hugh and his wife all over the place. In fact, there's an incredibly cute piggy-back one at one of the sites I list below. However, it's hard to be too upset when the Boyfriend is happily married to a woman I approve of (I don't know her, but she looks down-to-earth and nice). Even though it's obvious to me that it really should have been myself at the alter with Hugh Jackman (and also with about a hundred other Boyfriends of the Week), we can't have everything, can we? (Where would we put it? Name that comedian.)

So, he's forgiven for being married. In fact, he just looks so cute with his wife that I actually LOVE that he's married. I'm kind of a mixed-up chick, you know? Yeah, I thought you did.

But let's hear some more of the good news now, shall we? I mentioned, I think, that Hugh Jackman was what the kids might call, "babe-alicious." But you know how Russell Crowe is babe-alicious and also kind of a jerk? While that's A-OK by me (heck, I'm somewhat of a jerk myself from time to time), I just love finding out that a Boyfriend is actually totally sweet and nice. And everything I've read so far about Hugh has mentioned that fact. Which means he's not only totally sweet and nice, but he's SO sweet and nice that it's something interviewers find unusual and worth mentioning. (A quote, "Don't let his rugged good looks intimidate you. To those who know him, he's just as sweet and charming as he is handsome and irresistible.") If you read the interview below, you'll see just what they mean too. He's funny and happy and friendly. Hey, just like me! We were made for each other!

Now for the serious stuff. Here's a little background and a preview of coming attractions: Hugh was born to English parents in Sydney, Australia. He's the youngest of five children and on one site I saw a picture of him playing the violin as a child, though I didn't actually read that he plays now (well, to be honest, I didn't actually "read" that it was the kid version of Hugh in the picture in the first place. I felt safe to infer it, though, since it was on a page headed "Hugh Jackman Photo Galary"). Anyway, he's got a degree in Communications from the University of Technology in Sydney, and right after graduation, he promptly went BACK to school to pursue drama at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts. Pretty soon after, he was discovered by ABC and asked to take a starring role in a prison drama named "Corelli." (ABC? Like, American television? Anybody ever hear of this show?). The show was where he met his wife, incidentally. But we've already forgiven him for that, so let's stop bringing it up already.

Hugh has had many guest roles on tv since "Corelli," and he also has done a ton of musical theater. Not only that, but he's won both the MO Award (Aussie Tony) and the Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. The Australian Film Industry also nominated him for Best Actor in one of his independent Australian films ("Erskineville Kings"). But, as usual, we Americans were just sittin' over here being dorks while this amazing singing actor took the Down Under world by storm. It took "X-Men" to make us snap out of it. And snap we did -- right to attention that first time we saw Wolverine with no shirt on. Hoooo-ey!

The movie was a huge hit (I'm sure you knew that already) and 20th Century Fox knew they better not let Hugh get away. So, they've signed him up for a starring role in "Animal Husbandry" (opposite Ashley Judd). I know I've read the book the movie is based on, but I'm a little fuzzy on the plot. It's a romantic comedy, I think, and Hugh will be playing a man who is a insufferable bachelor who falls in love with Ashley, a woman who studies cows for a living. But I might just be mixing that up with some other romantic comedy (pick one, they're mostly all the same). In either case, what it means is this: lots of kissing scenes. And isn't that really all that's important when you get right on down to it?

After that, he's set up to co-star in the Warner Bros. drama "Swordfish" with John Travolta (hubba hubba). According to the IMDB, it's about a spy hired by the CIA to convince a paroled computer hacker to help steal $6 billion in unused government funds. You know, that sounds like a REALLY bad idea to me. But, we'll have to wait and see. After "Swordfish" comes another starring role, this time in a film called "Kate & Leopold" which also, oddly enough, stars Meg Ryan, who, as we all know, has a really hard time keeping her hands off handsome Australians. "K&L" is going to be about a 19th century duke who falls in love with a modern-day New York girl and must travel through time to be with her. Now, that could be interesting. Or else it could be really stupid. In either case, as previously stated, it's all good as long as we get to see Hugh Jackman play a romantic lead. I've discovered that if I squint when watching kissing scenes, it looks like it's actually me on the tv being smooched. I find this to be very gratifying. Because I am a pathetic loser.

But that's neither here nor there. Nor anywhere. I've gone on long enough about Hugh Jackman. And, since you are still under my command, I know you will not only go rent "X-Men" tonight, but you will also pay full price to see all three of the coming attractions (*I* probably won't, but you will, as somebody's got to make his movies earn tons of money so that the flow doesn't ebb).

MacGyver Factor Score: 99.1215%. I took off a few smidges of a point just because even though I pretend to be a good loser, I still get kind of grumpy when I discover my Boyfriend is married. Granted, I'm not exactly giving them the best offer of their life (date me for a week and then I'll see ya later). Nevertheless, I'm just that much happier (0.8785 points) when I find out they are still available. I'm sure you understand.

Boyfriend-Related Links

Great interview with Hugh about the X-Men movie
Hugh's IMDB page
The Official X-Men Movie page



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