Hugh Jackman has shared the screen with some of Hollywood’s biggest legends, but a standout moment for him was working with Anthony Hopkins on “The Son.”
“The day I got to work with Anthony Hopkins, I will never ever forget,” Jackman told Variety at the screening of “The Son” in New York on Monday night. “And we’re still texting each other, which just still gives me a huge smile. Every time I get a text and it says ‘Tony,’ I’m like, ‘Hello, Tony!’”
The two star in Florian Zeller’s follow-up to “The Father,” with 84-year-old Hopkins reprising his Oscar-winning role as Anthony Miller from the 2020 film. Based on Zeller’s stage play of the same name, “The Son” focuses on Peter (Jackman), whose life with his infant and new partner Beth (Vanessa Kirby) is disrupted when his 17-year-old son Nicholas (Zen McGrath) comes to live with them.
“There was something about Peter, both as a father and also — it becomes clear, as a son — that I could somehow relate to,” Jackman explained. “I felt a real urgency to play Peter, so much so that I actually reached out to Florian — I kind of chased him down.”
Asked how he approached the director about the project, Jackman said, “I emailed him, just out of the blue. I’m glad that I didn’t go to his junk folder.”
For Zeller, adapting his 2018 stage play to film was “a challenge, but an exciting one.” “I had the chance and the opportunity to do it with people that I was really dreaming about, especially Hugh Jackman,” he said. “It was such a joy to see him, but also Laura Dern and Vanessa Kirby, exploring all these complex emotions.”
The “Son” director was also thrilled to see Hopkins portray a different side of Anthony, saying that his character is “so cruel and in control of the situation” in the film. “It was the first time that we had the chance to see each other since we did ‘The Father’ because of COVID,” he added. “So it was like a family reunion.”
“With Florian at the helm, it created a very loving and compassionate space for us. We all got to deep dive into heartbreak and longing — all the emotions that take place in this film,” said Laura Dern, who plays Jackman’s ex-wife Kate. “And Hugh is the most gorgeous, consummate, professional, loveliest person and has luckily adopted me — as did his wife Deb — so we’re [officially] family.”
“The Son” opens in theaters Nov. 25 in New York and Los Angeles.
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