On meeting Hugh

I was able to visit the Wolverine film set this morning for a very quick 15 minute chat and photocall with Hugh Jackman. Before you’re all bowled over with jealousy – I was not chatting, I was behind the camera. The Mayor of our wonderful Shire was the main focus of attention and I managed to tag along to take a few happy snaps of the occasion. I don’t care. I still got an introduction and a handshake, and am very happy with that.

Hugh Jackman in conversation with Mayor

I would have liked to see the actual film set but that is very much closed. I did have a brief conversation with a couple of the staff who were managing our visit. The location, Bonna Point Boat Ramp in Kurnell, was chosen due to its apparently amazing similarity to the area in Japan the prisoner-of-war scenes are based on. Bonna Point sits in Botany Bay and is quite exposed and windswept. It also has only one road in and out so was easy to close off to cars and foot traffic. Restricting access from the water was a little harder though that has been managed with boat patrols organised with counil’s lifeguards and beach inspectors.

The catering tents are huge and there are two mobile kitchens onsite. I thought that this meant the film set must be quite a large one, but apparently it is “the small end of a large set”. In other words, average size as there are not as many actors (Hugh and a few extras) as in other scenes. The total number of staff (crew and actors) sits somewhere between 150 – 180 people.

I also chatted with Hugh’s publicity officer. She has a tough job juggling requests for visits and appearances, and keeping everybody (and Hugh) to a time schedule. Hugh tries to comply with as many requests as possible but, of course, there just isn’t enough time in the day to squeeze everyone in (and shoot the odd movie or two). As she had managed to squeeze our small group in, I was very appreciative and understanding.

Hugh Jackman with Mayor for local news photoshoot

I’m now looking forward to the release of Wolverine even more for the chance to say, “I was at that movie set…”. I don’t have many claims to fame so need to make the most of what I do have.

Hugh Jackman, by the way, was lovely. He has a very personable way of talking and connecting to people. For the whole ten seconds I had of his attention, I managed to feel like he was very happy and interested in meeting me. Considering how many people he must have to shake hands with, that’s quite impressive.

That’s me hiding behind the coffee cup.
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