Australian-born actor Hugh Jackman has been lighting up both big and small screens since the early 1990s. Nearly 30 years later, the blockbuster star has the distinction of being one of the finest in his craft.
Though fans know all too well their favorite Jackman films, not much is known about the Kate & Leopold star's personal life. Jackman has been married to his wife Deborra-Lee Furness since 1996, meeting a year earlier during production of the Australian TV series Correlli.
"Deb, she was a big star. I get picked up, and Deb is in the front seat of the car. I'll never forget. She took off her seatbelt and she turned around and put out her hand and took off her sunglasses and said, 'Hi, I'm Deborra-Lee Furness, nice to meet you.'
"I remember thinking, 'I like this girl,'" Jackman said, via E News.
The longtime couple have two children together, Oscar and Ava, both adopted. Jackman and Furness have always been vocal about their struggles with infertility and life as a family of four. Son, Oscar Maximilian, their oldest, has garnered a lot more attention as of late. Read on for a little more context about the rising star.
1. Furness and Jackman made the decision to adopt after suffering two miscarriages
After two miscarriages and an experience with IVF, Jackman and Furness made the decision to adopt. However, the couple adamantly states they always wanted to pursue adoption in a 2012 interview with ABC's Katie.
"To be clear, Deb and I always wanted to adopt. So that was always in our plan," the Tony Award-winning actor said. "We didn't know where in the process that would happen but biologically obviously we tried and it was not happening for us and it is a difficult time. We did IVF and Deb had a couple of miscarriages. I'll never forget it, the miscarriage thing — it happens to one in three pregnancies, but it's very, very rarely talked about."
Though not biologically his, Jackman certainly does not think of Oscar and Ava as "adopted," per se.
The 52-year-old explained to Australia's Herald Sun in 2011:
"From the moment we started the adoption process, all the anxiety went away. I don’t think of them as adopted – they’re our children. Deb and I are believers in I suppose you could call it destiny. We feel things happened the way they are meant to. Obviously, biologically wasn’t the way we were meant to have children.
"I think any parent can relate – trying to have children is wonderful and when you feel as though that’s not going to happen, there’s a certain anxiety that goes with it. We thought we’d have a kid or two biologically and then adopt. But when we decided we’d had enough of IVF, we went ahead with adoption.”
2. Oscar Maximilian Jackman was born in 2000
The oldest of the two, Oscar Maximilian was born on May 15. Speaking with Barbara Walters in 2009, Jackman and Furness said they deliberately wanted to raise mixed-race children.
"When we went first to talk to someone in Los Angeles about adoption, I remember, they said, ‘What do you want?’ I said, ‘Well, healthy would be good.’ And they said, ‘Well, what about the race?’ We’d ticked mixed race. And he said, ‘Now, listen. Please don’t, please don’t just tick that because you think it’s the right thing to tick.’ And he said to me, that we turn away children every month who are mixed race, because we can’t find families for them."
3. Oscar met his biological siblings shortly before his 18th birthday
According to Women's Day, Oscar's sisters Olivia and Nyomi Lanham reside in Vinton Iowa, living with their birth mother's sister Rochelle. Amber, Oscar's mother, passed away in 2005.
"Today has undoubtedly been the most important day of my life," Oscar wrote on Instagram in February 2018.
"I finally got to meet my biological family. Although I was only in Iowa for half a day, I felt that I got to know each of you personally.
"You are some of the kindest people I've ever met, and I promise I'm not just saying that."
Olivia responded with a comment underneath the post that read: "I feel like I've known you my whole life. Love you forever and always little brother."
She added, "You and your family are very kind and accepting humans that I hope to get to know better."
4. Jackman opened up about the difficulties of raising adult children in 2019
While promoting the animated film Missing Link in April 2019, Jackman revealed to People the hardest part about watching your children age:
"My son is about to leave high school, and my daughter is about to go into high school. It’s amazing to just have conversations with them. But it took a bit of readjusting,” the X-Men star explained. "It went from ‘Hey, guys, these are the rules, we don’t do that,’ to having to give them reasons why."
However, he did reveal a benefit of having children who are getting older, and it had to do with going to the movies.
“It’s nice to go to the movies and see something you both want to see. It’s no longer ‘Oh good, let’s watch Shrek for the 120th time.’ I mean, I love Shrek but not 120 times.”
It's unclear whether Oscar (or even Ava) will pursue acting like their legendary father. However, one thing will forever be absolute: this is a family who sticks together, no matter what.