You asked, Hugh answered! When PEOPLE asked readers to submit questions to Hugh Jackman, he was game. The Aussie actor, 38, who plays a magician in the period film The Prestige and has two more movies out next month (The Fountain and Flushed Away), didn’t hold back – from his family life (he has two children Oscar, 6, and Ava, 1, with wife Deborra-lee Furness) to the food he just can’t live without.
How do you deal with carving out a career in Hollywood while remaining true to yourself and your Australian roots when you are so far from home?
– Malena Morris, San Francisco, Calif.
I always make sure I see my family a lot. I fly them in. My wife and kids are always with me. Next year I’m doing (a) Baz Luhrmann movie so I’ll be (in Sydney) for most of the year, and when you think about it I did The Boy from Oz for a year, playing this Australian character and singing “I Still Call Australia Home” every night. So with the Australian flag dropping on stage, I was very much in touch. But I would love for my children to have some time there every year so it becomes a part of their upbringing.
You were wonderful on Broadway in The Boy from Oz and you also had time for family . What’s your secret to maintaining that stamina and energy?
– Ellen McDonald, Deer Park, N.Y.
B12 shots twice a week. I don’t always get a lot of sleep, but when you’re singing, the first thing to go when your tired is your voice – it gets a little raspy. So, when you’re singing 20 songs a night you have to get sleep. They used to call me Gramps at home because I would have a nap in the afternoon, get eight or nine hours of sleep at night. The real key for me is meditation – without a doubt it transformed my life. Twice a day – it gives you energy. I’ve been doing it 10 or 15 years.
What do you eat to stay in such good shape?
– Denise Deleray, New York, N.Y.
I’m a real foodie and into good wine. So if I was going out for my ultimate night it would be eight to 10 friends with sensational wine and sensational food. I’m a sweet tooth, but I do love cheese. Ahh, good cheese, with wine – doesn’t get better than that. And I love fresh bread. Breakfast is up there as probably my favorite meal. My dad was bringing up five kids and I had cereal and then a hot breakfast every day. I think it’s healthy to eat. My dad is a great cook. I think you eat less crap when you eat good food.
If you could live in another period of time, which would you choose?
– Erin Coyne, Falls Church, Va.
The ’20s holds a fascination but then I immediately go to, “Did they have anesthetic at the dentist?” I’m not one for pain. You just don’t want to be sick in the ’20s. All the movies and flappers and great parties – let’s face it, I’d switch everything for a good anesthetic. (And) I do quite like my email and BlackBerry. For more of your answers from Hugh Jackman, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.