Before I meet "Hugh Jackman, movie star and Tony Award–winning actor," I meet Hugh Jackman, husband and father. When he enters his living room in Los Angeles, his 11-month-old daughter, Ava, lights up. "How's my baby?" he says, as his wife of ten years, Deborra-Lee Furness, hands Ava to him. A second later, Oscar, their 6-year-old, whizzes around a corner and clings to his dad's leg. As Ava coos and laughs in Hugh's arms, her eyes widen with delight. For as long as I live, I will never forget her face in that moment. This is a man for whom family time clearly trumps career. It always has, despite a string of successful movies that includes X-Men
, Van Helsing, Swordfish,
and Kate & Leopold;
a stellar turn on Broadway in The Boy from Oz;
and five appearances in People
's annual "50 Most Beautiful People" issue. His own parents, who'd migrated from England to Australia, split when Hugh was 8. After his mother returned to England, his father raised all five children alone.
During our conversation, Hugh tells me how his childhood "hobby" of acting turned into a passion, why he and his wife adopted multiethnic kids, and how one daily practice transformed his life. Start reading Oprah's interview with Hugh Jackman Note: This interview appeared in the June 2006 issue of
O, The Oprah Magazine.