With The Wolverine coming out and plenty of critical acclaim for Les Mis, Hugh Jackman, age 44, is a full-fledged A-Lister. But his marriage has not followed the cliched path of so many celebrity couples.
He and his wife have been married for 17 years.
Hugh was quite taken with Deborra-Lee Furness when he met her as the leading lady on the set of an Australian TV show, even though she was 13 years older then him. His crush was reciprocated and the two got married in 1996.
How does Hugh keep the romance in his marriage?
In an interview in Good Housekeeping he says, “My number one rule for romance is surprise. If I bring Deb flowers every Tuesday, yeah, it’s nice, but is it romantic?”
So he likes to shake things up and surprise Deb every now and then. For example, once he got off of work earlier than expected, “I pretended I was still on the set. I called Deb and said, ‘I’ll be back late tonight.’ And she got such a shock. I’d made reservations at our favorite lunch place,” he says. “It was three hours before the kids finished school, and it was awesome because it was unplanned.”
They seem like a very happy couple. But they sometimes have to deal with unkind assumptions about their relationship. Over the years rumors about Hugh being gay have surfaced. The couple takes it in stride. Hugh doesn’t mind if people think he’s gay, but the implication that his marriage to Deb is not authentic is sometimes hurtful to her.
“I don’t want her perturbed; I worry for her,” Jackman says. “When she hears the gossip, she finds it hard to shut up about it. It’s frustrating that she doesn’t have a voice in the situation.”
So—and this is a great tip for all the husbands out there—he lets Deb vent to him and listens sympathetically: “I know she’s always right when she says, ‘Just. Listen!’ ” And he does. They talk about “everything all the time,” especially on their “nighttime walks with the dog.”
“The bedrock of any relationship is to communicate, and Deb and I have always done that, discussing whatever’s going on, good or bad.” Great advice for all couples!
If you’d like to see Hugh and Deb talk about their marriage and playfully tease each other, bantering back and forth, watch this really cute interview with Deb and Hugh for Australia’s 60 Minutes. I love these guys! I root for couples like this. Here’s to 17 more years — plus! — for the Furness-Jackman clan.