Les Miserables star Hugh Jackman walked his daughter Ava, 7, to school in New York City on Monday (December 10). Joined by their pet pooch, the father-daughter duo walked hand-in-hand to class.
In an emotional new interview with 60 Minutes, the Wolverine actor, 44, opened up again about being abandoned by his mother, Grace, when he was only 8-years-old.
“I can remember the morning she left, it’s weird the things you pick up,” he tearfully admitted. “I remember her being in a towel around her head and saying goodbye, must have been the way she said goodbye. As I went off to school, when I came back, there was no one there in the house. The next day there was a telegram from England, Mom was there. And then that was it. I don’t think she thought for a second it would be forever. I think she thought it was, ‘I just need to get away, and I’ll come back.’ Dad used to pray every night that Mom would come back.”
Jackman – who has previously talked of his mother’s undiagnosed postpartum depression – was the youngest of five. His father, Chris, became the “rock” of the family.
“My father is a rock. My father is my rock,” he said. “It’s where I learned everything about loyalty, dependability, being there day in, day out, no matter what.”
Now a father to Ava and 10-year-old son Oscar with wife Deborra-Lee Furness, Jackman treasures family life. “We never have more than two weeks apart,” Furness, 57, said. “We choose not to. We don’t like it.”
Does his own father ever dole out advice?
“It’s always about the family,” Jackman said while wiping tears off his face. “It’s not about work.”
“And I think that’s him living with probably some of his regrets,” Jackman added. “And feelings [that] maybe he, at the wrong time, put too much in his career. And he doesn’t want me to make me that mistake. In his gentle way, he always reminds me this the most important thing.”