For the past few days, Oprah's been tweeting with today's guest...a man who she says makes her feel all a-twitter. This morning, she says she opened her eyes, thanked God that she's alive and thought, "Hugh Jackman's going to be on today!"
Oprah says this Australian actor, Tony winner and Oscar® host is the real deal. "I've been counting down the days," she says. "It's not just because he's hot. ... Everything you think he is—he is that."
Over the years, Hugh has starred in romantic comedies, dramas and Broadway shows, but most moviegoers know him as Wolverine, the beastly star of the X-Men series. Now, he's ripping up the screen for the fourth time in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hugh plays Wolverine, a mutant with razor-sharp claws who faces off against his archenemies.
Die-hard fans have been counting down the days until this premiere, and Hugh had a special surprise in store for some.
The night before the movie premiered nationwide, Hugh sneaked into a midnight showing in Chicago. "I surprised them," he says. "We ran the trailers as normal, and then, all of a sudden, the lights went up and they're like, ‘Boo.' And I said, ‘Sorry, there's been a technical problem.'"
When Hugh walked out, the crowd went wild! "They're the real fans," he says.
Though the action sequences are stunning, Jenny McCarthy, a member of Oprah's panel, says she and Gayle King were more interested in Hugh's buff body.
"The only thing that was missing or lacking, I should say, was we wanted more butt scenes," Jenny says.
While some actors use body doubles when they're asked to strip down on the big screen, Hugh says it's all him in Wolverine. In one scene, Hugh runs naked across a paddock, which he says he did the very first day of filming. "It normally happens at the wrap party [anyway]," he jokes. "I said, 'Let's do it the other way around.'"
Hugh says he trained for months to get in shape for this film. By the time shooting began, Hugh was mostly muscle and only 4 percent body fat!
How did he do it? "It was a crazy, crazy thing. I have a trainer, of course. We train hard," he says. "Then, we got together with a guy who's a natural body builder to give us the body builder diet."
To get ripped, Hugh says he woke up every morning at 3:45 a.m. to eat six egg whites and one piece of dry toast. Then, every three hours for the rest of the day, he ate small, protein-rich meals. "You have to eat before you train," he says. "Otherwise, that really intense training, after about 40 minutes you start to flag."
After five months, Hugh says the training started to pay off. Even Deborra, his wife of 13 years, couldn't believe the transformation.
"I walked in after the gym and Deb's like: 'Who are you? This is ridiculous. I don't even know who you are,'" he says.
It's no wonder People magazine named Hugh the "sexiest man alive" in November 2008, but Hugh says his wife isn't impressed by muscles and a movie-star smile.
"It doesn't really get me very far at home. I try to get out of taking the garbage out. [I say,] 'You know, baby, what if there's photographers? This is not sexy,'" he jokes. "And Deb's like: 'Trust me. That's the only thing that's sexy about a man—when he takes the garbage out.'"
Together, Hugh and Deborra have two children, 8-year-old Oscar and 3-year-old Ava. Though they're too young to see his X-Men movies, Hugh says they are familiar with Wolverine.
When Hugh's son was little, he says Oscar slept with a big, soft Wolverine doll. The only problem? When you pressed the doll's belly, Hugh says it said some disturbing phrases.
"It would say, ‘I'm going to slice you in half. This kick will take you down.' And he's in love with this doll," Hugh says. "I thought, ‘I'm not sure if this is a good thing.'"
Recently, Ava saw a poster for Wolverine, and Hugh says she thought he looked too angry. Oscar had a different opinion. "My son said: ‘No, Ava. Daddy just needs Botox,'" Hugh says.