Hugh Jackman has had a long and successful career. His first acting credit goes back to 1994 on a show called Law of the Land (IMDb.com). 23 years later and today he’s one of Hollywood’s most recognizable actors. Of those years, he’s spent 18 of them being one of comic’s most iconic heroes, Wolverine. Jackman’s portrayal of the fan favorite was one for the ages. Looking back on these movies it would be hard to imagine any other actor trying to fill his shoes. So when fans heard Logan would be the last time we see him in the role, understandably they were a bit upset.
While fans may miss him now that he’s moved on, it’s hard to blame him. Looking back on his career he has a long list of movies to his credits, but ask anyone where they know Hugh Jackman from and they’ll say Wolverine. You may get some fans of musicals who will point to Jean Valjean in Les Miserables but that’s about as far as most people can go. When you look at the bigger picture, at the root of it all, that is probably the reason for Jackman to step away.
With 53 acting credits to his name, to be narrowed down to one or two specific roles is a bit unfair to him as an actor. Whether it’s chick flicks like 2001’s Kate & Leopold, a drama/mystery like 2006’s The Prestige, or a musical like Les Miserables Hugh Jackman range is wider than most know. Some of those films are better than others, but none of the roles has he underperformed. It’s a shame that outside some of the bigger films that people don’t know him for more. To that point, he may be one of Hollywood’s most under-appreciated actors.
For fans wondering where he’ll go from here, look no further. His next film already has a trailer out (see above) for the musical The Greatest Showman. The film follows the life of PT Barnum, the man who’s showmanship and knack for the theatrical, help create “The Greatest Show on Earth” the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. As of 2017, poor attendance and operating costs caused the show to close after 146 years. It’s a bit ironic for an actor as great as Hugh Jackman to play the part of one of the history’s greatest entertainers.
Surely stepping away from such an iconic role can’t be easy for any actor. Walking away from a character that has connected you to so many fans can never be easy. Unfortunately for fans, in order for an actor to grow, they must branch out. He may not enjoy the same success as he did with the franchise, but he helped create something most actors never get the chance. Doing so earns him the right to branch out and spread his wings to whatever role he chooses. Hugh Jackman is one of the most talented, underrated actors of our time. Hopefully, when his career is all said and done, more people will see it than not.