Deborra-Lee Furness admits the sight of her shirtless husband on stage excites audiences

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated September 05, 2013 10:00 AM
Credit: Courtesy Town & Country

He sometimes sports claws, but that isn’t how Deborra-Lee Furness likes to view husband Hugh Jackman – not that she doesn’t appreciate the variety.

“I like him clean-shaven. But I like him all ways: chubby, muscley, skinny,” she tells October’s Town&Country, on sale Sept. 17. “I’m always having affairs.”

Interviewed with Furness, 57, for the magazine’s cover article, PEOPLE’s 2008 Sexiest Man Alive talks about how he was initially hesitant about proposing to her.

“I decided, I won’t ask her to marry me for six months,” Jackman, 44, recalls. “Then after four months I thought, That’s the most ridiculous rule!”

They have been married since 1996 and have two children, Oscar and Ava.

While her husband acts on stage and screen – his latest movie, The Prisoners, opens Sept. 20 – Furness serves as a board member of the Worldwide Orphan Foundation to help create a National Adoption Awareness Week, “to shine a light on the fact that there are 153 million orphans in the world,” she says. “If that were a country, it would be the ninth-largest in the world, just ahead of Russia.”

The Shirt Off His Back

Jackman is hardly a stranger to charitable acts, literally taking the sweaty T-shirt off his back after his stage shows to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. His castoffs fetch anywhere from $5,000 and $25,000 each per show – even if the Tony winner is often left standing on stage bare-chested.

“It’s because you get them so excited,” Furness tells him of the large sums he collects.

“I’d sell my soul for a good cause,” he says back to her.

Notes his wife: “He’d be a great auctioneer, if the acting doesn’t pan out.”