Hugh Jackman is, and always will be, a family man.
In an emotional new interview with 60 Minutes Sunday, Dec. 9, the Les Miserables actor, 44, opens up again about his mother, Grace, abandoning his family when he was 8 years old — moving across the world from Australia to England.
"I can remember the morning she left, it's weird the things you pick up," he said with tears in his eyes. "I remember her being in a towel around her head and saying goodbye, must have been the way she said goodbye. As I went off to school, when I came back, there was no one there in the house. The next day there was a telegram from England, Mom was there. And then that was it. I don't think she thought for a second it would be forever. I think she thought it was, 'I just need to get away, and I'll come back.' Dad used to pray every night that Mom would come back."
Jackman was the youngest of five, and his father, Chris, took of the responsibility of his children as a single parent.
"My father is a rock. My father is my rock," he explained. "It's where I learned everything about loyalty, dependability, being there day in, day out, no matter what."
The actor is now a father of his own to son, Oscar, and daughter, Ava, with wife Deborra-Lee Furness. "We never have more than two weeks apart," Furness, 57, said of balancing Jackman's career with family time. "We choose not to. We don't like it."
What advice does his father give him now?
"It's always about the family," The Wolverine star said while wiping tears off his face. "It's not about work."
"And I think that's him living with probably some of his regrets," Jackman explained of his father's advice. "And feelings [that] maybe he, at the wrong time, put too much in his career. And he doesn't want me to make me that mistake. In his gentle way, he always reminds me this the most important thing."