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Hugh Jackman’s Australian connection

By Laurie Bennett

December 28, 2012 at 10:10am

If “Les Miserables” requires any suspension of disbelief beyond the acceptance of sung dialogue, it’s the accents.

Why do French boys on the barricades sound like they have day jobs selling flowers at Covent Garden? And how is it that the two central roles (Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as Javert) are played by Australians?

Jackman’s Australian roots go deep. Along with his “Australia” co-star, Nicole Kidman, he is a godparent to Grace and Chloe Murdoch, daughters of Australian media czar Rupert Murdoch.

Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman

This is heady company, even for a movie star. Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is also a godfather to Grace Murdoch. The girls were baptized on the River Jordan in a celebration hosted by Queen Rania Al Abdullah.

The Queen, like Jackman, is a friend of Wendi Deng, Murdoch’s third wife.

Deng, best known for leaping to her husband’s defense when he was attacked by a pie-throwing heckler, has rightly been described as a “world-class networker.”

She has been a good friend to Jackman.

The New York Times wrote in June that Deng flew in a dozen influential show biz folks last year to see Jackman’s one-man show in San Francisco.

“She is the best publicist anyone could ever have,” Jackman wrote in an email to the Times.

Deng has recently branched out into film production. Jackman appears in her first movie, “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.”

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