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Movies

Hugh Jackman talks Eddie The Eagle

From the film’s set at London’s Pinewood Studios, Hugh Jackman explains his attraction to the role and how it felt to watch Eddie’s story play out at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

One of Hollywood’s most versatile stars, Hugh Jackman burst onto the international stage through his role as Wolverine in the X-Men series.
Always in demand, Jackman has most recently starred in the acclaimed big-screen adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, and alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners.
In Eddie The Eagle, Dexter Fletcher’s film about the legend behind one of ski jumping’s most beloved figures, Hugh plays Bronson Peary, a fictionalised American coach who is reluctant at first to train the unpolished ski jumper Eddie, played by Taron Egerton.
Woman's Day caught up with the star to talk about the film on everyone's lips.
What was your first reaction to the idea of a movie about Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards?
Well, I knew all about Eddie. Matthew [Vaughn], who I know already through X-Men: First Class, he got me the script and I instantly pricked up my ears.
Eddie the Eagle is kind of a legend in Australia. He embodies everything Australian – the whole have-a-go attitude. Australians, in a way, would prefer someone who has a go and doesn’t win than someone who’s safe and boring and wins. We don’t really like that kind of person. So I just always loved that, and when I read the script I found it really heart-warming.
Do you think people like Eddie remind us that the Olympics were founded on the idea of amateur competition?
Totally! It’s sport at such a high level of results and achievements – so finely tuned. This kid who took his first jump two years before and decided he wanted to go to the Olympics, got through on a loophole and he did it, and it was fantastic.
I can’t remember one person from that Olympics, but I remember Eddie the Eagle, and that’s true of a lot of people around the world. That’s something for him to be proud of.
Watch the theatrical trailer for Eddie the Eagle below! Post continues after the video...
How do you think Taron Egerton has been capturing Eddie’s spirit of personality?
I am just so impressed and proud and really blown away by what Taron is doing. It’s a really difficult thing to play somebody, and he’s not going for a straight-out imitation.
It’s certainly got the essence of Eddie in every way. It’s got the optimism and it’s got the humour. The positivity and the never-say-die attitude are right in there, and underneath what he’s really captured is the vulnerability.
Obviously a lot of his antics came out of nervousness and feeling uncomfortable. He was an outsider, Eddie. He was an outsider in the Olympic movement, and growing up he was an outsider. I find what Taron is doing is very funny and completely charming, but it’s also very touching.
Hugh plays Bronson Peary, a fictionalised American coach who is reluctant at first to train the unpolished ski jumper Eddie, played by Taron Egerton.
Were you tempted to try one of the jumps yourself when you were out at the real venue?
I was itching to do it, but it was tough to get away with it! No, I didn’t do the jumps, but actually I had to do a little skiing because my character does jump. We just wanted to get the stop of him coming in.
I went up the thing, and looking at it I thought, 'Oh I’ll go halfway up the hill.' I was about an eighth up the hill and already I was thinking, 'OK, that’s pretty high…' I eventually got higher and higher, but that was just the outrun. That wasn’t even the jump. So no, I didn’t give it a go. I was a good boy.
"I find what Taron is doing is very funny and completely charming, but it’s also very touching," Hugh says of his co-star.
Maybe one day?
Ski-jumping? We did honestly talk about it. I think I would do the 15m. I’d give that a go. That’s about the height of this soundstage, so it’d still be kind of nerve-wracking.
It’s one thing to fall down the ski slope, because it’s snow, but this is ice. It’s like cement. The idea of doing the 70m or the 90m is impossible to think of, even if you’ve done the 40m for ages. These kids start when they’re six or seven and they’re fearless.
Catch Eddie The Eagle on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on iTunes! on iTunes.

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