May 30, 2003 10:00 AM

Taking a break on the set of his latest film, “Van Helsing,” in which he plays the famed (and fictitious) vampire killer, Hugh Jackman spoke to PEOPLE about his upcoming gig hosting the June 8 Tony Awards — and his current hairstyle.

The “X2: X-Men United” hunk, 38, is sporting long locks for his movie role, so for Broadway’s big night Jackman says he’ll keep his hair “braided, like Pippi Longstocking” when it comes time to hand out awards.

“No, I think a simple kind of ponytail,” he said, revising his answer. “I don’t think my dad will appreciate it. I mean, here I am hosting the Tonys looking like a bloody hippie.”

Jackman says his son Oscar, 3, got a look at his tresses and remarked, “Daddy, you’re Mummy now.”

Jackman’s link to the Great White Way is his upcoming role as the late songwriter Peter Allen in this fall’s musical “The Boy from Oz.” The actor, who played Curly in a critically well-received London revival of “Oklahoma!,” tells the magazine that he got the role of the flamboyant Allen because “I have a secret stash of maracas.”

And though Broadway is abuzz over the excitement of having a sexy guy like Jackman hosting its big awards night, there reportedly have been concerns that he will not have enough rehearsal time before the big show, arriving in New York only one day before the ceremony. (CBS will broadcast the event live from Radio City Music Hall.)

Still, the host-to-be did have a brief warm-up, having served as a presenter at the Oscars last March.

“I had a ball,” Jackman said of his Hollywood duty. “It was slightly odd because I’m used to watching the Oscars at a party. I’m used to yelling things at the screen.”

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