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Hugh Jackman Says Kids Take Marriage 'To a Whole Other Level'

12/02/2008 at 08:00 PM ET
Carlos Costas/Pacific Coast News

Since becoming parents to Oscar Maximillian, 8 ½, and Ava Eliot, 3, Hugh Jackman says that the bond between he and wife Deborra-Lee Furness has only gotten stronger. Although the couple — married since 1996 — may have had dissimilar upbringings they’ve learned to compromise when it counts the most. "You not only fall in love with your wife in a whole different way but you’re also forced to kind of pull together your own philosophies about parenthood," the 40-year-old actor explains to Movies Online. "Somehow, you’ve got to become this united front."

"Yes, you learn about yourself [when you have kids]. You learn about your own relationship to your parents and then how you want to parent and also I’ve found, your marriage goes to a whole other level."

As so often happens, Hugh says that he slowly but surely finds himself repeating "the most annoying things" that he heard over and over again as a child. "My wife quite often says ‘Oh, hello Chris’ — that’s my dad’s name — because the things coming out of my mouth sound exactly like my dad that I swore on my life I would never do." One thing that Hugh swore on his life would never happen is being named PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive; also surprised by the honor, apparently, was his son!

"Oscar … goes ‘You? You’ve gotta be kidding me!’ I thought, ‘It’s the truth!’"

Click ‘more’ to read about the ‘greatest thing’ Hugh has learned as a parent.

Shooting the epic Australia required Hugh to log some serious time with the many horses used in the film. Along the way he learned a thing or two about not only his equine co-stars, but also his kids, and considers parenting and horse riding "the same thing." He explains,

"You can whack a horse. I’ve seen people do it. They whack them, they kick them, and they do all that, and you can get a horse to do something. But I was very lucky to have two trainers who taught me how to make the horse feel it’s their idea. I’ll tell you, as a parent, it is the greatest thing I’ve ever learned."

Australia is in theaters now.

Source: Movies Online

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Sarah on

What a cutie! She looks just like her dad.

Sarita on

I love Hugh, he always seems like a good father and husband and he is hot!

Nicole on

Both Oscar and Ava are adopted, so any resemblance is just luck. But isn’t it amazing how a kid’s expression can remind you of their parent, adopted or not? Pax Jolie-Pitt in particular has a lot of expressions that remind me of his dad Brad, so.

elisabeth on

ahhhhhhh how dreamy you fall in love with your wife all over again. He is sexy on every level. What a great man!

XOXO on

I LOVE this man!!! and I was very happy he won People’s sexiest man alive!

For what I have heard and seen, he is a great actor, very handsome, a wonderful father and a great husband…what more can you ask for in a man?

Artemis on

What a great man, and what a normal family with normal issues.

Sarah on

Nicole, for some reason it just never occurred to me that Ava and Oscar are adopted. I guess you’re right about luck. I agree on Pax’s expression though. It’s strange how much adopted kids can resemble their parents as if they were all meant to be together somehow, inexplicable as it sounds.

Nicole on

Sarah – I had no idea at first either! I was just like, “Oh they are soo cute,” and I attributed Oscar’s darker skin tone to a previous relationship! That’s how perfectly Hugh’s family fits together, LOL!

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