“I’ll never doubt you again”: Hugh Jackman Owes His Only Oscar Nomination to His Ex-wife Deborra-Lee Furness

Turns out, Hugh Jackman wouldn't have scored his first and only Oscar nomination of his career to date had it not been for his now-ex-wife Deborra-Lee Furness!

hugh jackman, deborra-lee furness
Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Sean Reynolds


  • Hugh Jackman received his first and only Oscar nomination for his role in the 2012 film Les Misérables, where he portrayed Jean Valjean.
  • Jackman almost backed out of the role due to doubts and pressure from previous actors who played the character.
  • However, his then-wife Deborra-Lee Furness encouraged him to continue, ultimately leading to his acclaimed performance.
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Hugh Jackman is unarguably one of the most brilliant versatile actors in the entire entertainment industry, with his roles ranging all the way from action to drama to comedy to even superheroes. Even at the age of 55, his acting chops are as peak perfection as ever, and the exceptional pieces of masterwork lined up in his resume are the living proof of that.

Hugh Jackman. | Credit: Eva Rinaldi/Wikimedia Commons.
Hugh Jackman. | Credit: Eva Rinaldi/Wikimedia Commons.

Despite that, throughout his nearly three-decade-long star-studded career, the mastermind performer has only ever scored one Academy Award nod for his 2012 musical-romance movie, Les Misérables. And, surprisingly enough, he owes even that nomination to his former wife for nearly thirty years, Deborra-Lee Furness, considering how he nearly backed out of that fan-favorite movie!

Hugh Jackman Almost Quitted Les Misérables!

2012’s Les Misérables is, indeed, yet another live-action adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel of the same name from 1862. But this version is a bit too special for Hugh Jackman because not only did it grant him his first Oscar nod, but even his performance is widely regarded as one of his best ones.

Les Misérables (2012).
Les Misérables (2012).

However, there was a time when the Logan actor wasn’t too sure about it all. Perhaps it was because of all the actors who had embodied the role of Jean Valjean spectacularly in the adaptations before him that he started to have second thoughts about going forward with his role.

As the 55-year-old actor himself admitted during a backstage interview with Entertainment Tonight‘s co-hosts after winning his first Golden Globe for this very role:

“Honestly, there was a moment where I was considering pulling out [of the film].”

Jackman as Jean Valjean in the film.
Jackman as Jean Valjean in the film.

Continuing, he explained the reasoning behind this, saying:


“I’d just had a bad day at rehearsals and all I kept hearing was all the other great people that played the role, and I said, ‘I’m going to do ’em a favor; I’m going to pull out now; someone else should take it.’”

That said, Jackman most certainly nearly pulled out of it because of this hesitation, had it not been for one person close to him, who saved him from making this terrible mistake: His now-ex-wife, Deborra-Lee Furness.

Hugh Jackman is Grateful to His Ex-Wife for Stopping Him

Jackman with then-wife Deborra-Lee Furness. | Credit: Sean Reynolds/Wikimedia Commons.
Jackman with then-wife Deborra-Lee Furness. | Credit: Sean Reynolds/Wikimedia Commons.

During the same backstage chit-chat, Jackman explained how his then-wife Furness stopped him from quitting and encouraged him to go forward with his iconic role, saying:

 “[My wife] took me off that ledge, and she was right.”

That said, he was also incredibly grateful to the 68-year-old Australian actress for doing the same, as he continued to say:


“Thank you, baby. Thank you for always being right. I’ll never doubt you again.”

Jackman in a still from the 2012 romance-musical.
Jackman in a still from the 2012 romance musical.

But what’s more, is that even though he initially decided to quit, the Prisoners actor pretty much always knew that the film would still garner multiple nominations and accolades, especially for the role he was cast in.

As he said in the interview:

“I sort of weirdly knew that going in, whether I was good at it or not. As a role, ‘Jean Valjean’ is like a ‘Hamlet.’ So, it’s probably why I was so terrified.”

Well, terrified or not, Jackman most definitely gave the performance of a lifetime in the iconic role of Jean Valjean, considering how that exact role also landed him the first and last Oscar nod from the Academy in his entire career!


You can watch Les Misérables on Netflix.


Written by Mahin Sultan

Articles Published: 1120

Mahin Sultan is a News Content Writer at FandomWire. With almost one year's worth of experience in her field, she has explored and attained a deep understanding of numerous topics in various niches, mostly entertainment.

An all-things-good enthusiast, Mahin is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Commerce, and her love for entertainment has given her a solid foundation of reporting in the same field. Besides being a foodie, she loves to write and spends her free time either with her nose buried in a good book or binging on COD or K-dramas, anime, new movies, and TV serials (the awesome ones, obviously).

So far, Mahin's professional portfolio has more than 500 articles written on various niches, including Entertainment, Health and wellbeing, and Fashion and trends, among others.