Backstage on Broadway: Hugh Jackman takes Broadway stage in ‘The River’

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From hosting the 2014 Tony Awards to another X-Men movie, it's been a big year for Hugh Jackman.

"It was fantastic!"

And it's getting even bigger now that he's back on the Great White Way.

“Every night on Broadway is special, but you gotta remember I’m a kid from Australia who dreams of being on Broadway." Hugh Jackman said. "[This is] my fourth Broadway opening.”

He's starring in a new show called, 'The River.'

“There’s something mythic about the play," Jackman explained. “The words, the poetry, the ideas, the humor, the pathos, everything about it is incredible.”

His character, simply titled, 'The Man,' is a dark and mysterious fisherman.

“It is different for me I suppose, but that’s what acting is right, I don’t want to play myself, that would be boring!" he said.

The drama is set at a remote cabin on a moonless night where Jackman persuades his girlfriend to go fly fishing for trout. The eerie dialogue, constant twists and appearance of another woman make this show intriguing.

RELATED: Hugh Jackman describes "The River' playwright Butterworth

“It’s great to get under people’s skin in that way." Jez Butterworth said.

Award-winning playwright Jez Butterworth penned the play.

“I definitely wanted it to be unbearable and beautiful," he added. "I wanted it to be as hard to take as possible.”

Also starring in 'The River' are two Broadway newcomers.

“I’m kind of still buzzing,” Cush Jumbo said.

Cush Jumbo plays opposite Jackman in the role of 'The Woman.'

RELATED: 'The River' co-stars talk Hugh Jackman

“It’s making people think about things that happened to them years ago," she added. “I’ve done a lot of plays and this is unlike anything I’ve ever done.”

Also making her Broadway debut is Laura Donnelly, who plays 'The Other Woman.'

“It was incredibly exciting but also a little bit terrifying,” Laura Donnelly said.

She may be new to this stage, but not to the play.

“I did the production originally two years ago in London and it didn’t leave me for the two years since,” she added.

But it's the message of this play that really impacts the actors and the audience.

“I think what Jez is ultimately getting to is our ability or inability of being present, of being together, of connecting of being authentic," Jackman explaind. "It’s not as easy as it sounds.”

And neither is gutting and cooking a fish, which he learned to do just for this role.

“[My] kids have had fish cakes, fish fingers, fish, in every way shape or form, I’ve never eaten so much fish!”

'The River' is playing a limited engagement at the Circle in the Square Theatre. It's the same theater that Jackman said is the same place where he saw his very first Broadway show.

What was it? Hughie featuring Al Pacino.

 

PRODUCED BY: KIM PESTALOZZI