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Optimism: That’s the ticket for Jackman

LOS ANGELES – Every Friday that he’s shooting a movie, Hugh Jackman comes to work with a bag full of lottery tickets.

He gives them to everyone who works on his movies: co-stars, camera crews, set hands, the people who cater the food. He doesn’t play. Why would he? It’s not like the guy needs more good fortune.

Just look at the past year. He hosted the Oscars – and saw ratings rise 13 percent. His likeness is going up at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. His handprints and footprints were cast in cement last week in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. He’s People’s reigning Sexiest Man Alive.

And Friday, he opens the most expensive film of his career, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” But Jackman knows that Hollywood fates can turn on a single flop. And this story had a rough trip on its way to the big screen.

First came reports of creative differences between director Gavin Hood and studio executives. Then, on March 31, an unfinished version of the film leaked online – the largest Hollywood piracy heist yet. No arrests have been made in the case.

The leak felt like a personal slight for Jackman, who also is producing the film. He was planning an online contest for which city would host the film’s premiere Monday (Tempe, Ariz., won).

Jackman says he doesn’t believe the pirated film, which did not include many computer-generated effects or 10 minutes of crucial footage, will keep moviegoers from turning out. (Early box office tracking indicates the film could pull in $70 million on opening weekend.)

“I think people – especially the fans – will still want to see the movie in a theater,” he says. “But there’s nothing that can be done about it now. That will always be a risk. There’s a chance your plane will crash, or you’ll get into a car crash. But that doesn’t mean you don’t fly or drive. You just have to stay positive, because if you worry too much about things, madness lies therein.”

It’s a mantra that rules Jackman’s career and life, friends say.

“He’s a devoted father and husband,” Jay Leno said during the hand-and-foot ceremony, where he served as emcee. Jackman has been married 13 years to actress Deborra-Lee Furness, and they have two children, Oscar, 8, and Ava, 3.

“But the way I measure someone is how they treat people behind the scenes,” Leno says. “And Hugh treats everyone – the cameraman, the backstage crew – the same way. He’s always laughing and joking. He’s the real deal.”

Of course, people can take advantage of a generous guy. Particularly one who brings lottery tickets every Friday.

“You know, ever since I started ‘Lucky Friday,’ I never get a Friday off,” Jackman cracks. “I think people are hooked on those lottery tickets.”

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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