Hugh Jackman felt late dad's presence on set of new film

Hugh Jackman "felt the presence" of his late father on the set of 'The Son'.

The 54-year-old actor found shooting 'The Son' - in which he plays a man struggling to parent his teenage son amid his generational trauma from his own upbringing - to be a "cathartic" experience after his dad passed away during filming, but he recalled how relied on the "help" of his castmates to get through one particular scene while battling his personal grief.

He said: "He passed away during the film and nearish to the end. I remember that scene at the end where I imagined [my character’s son] coming back. That particular scene, which was very difficult to do, was just a few days after he passed away.

"Normally, I would approach a scene like that, or I’d think about a scene like that as almost, 'I need to get into my zone, let everyone do their job around me. I can’t be affected by it. I need to create my own space here.'

"But weirdly, I just didn’t feel like you get through it without the help of everyone. So, I would, without them knowing it, I would look at all of them. I actually wrote something down the morning of that scene, just energetically, quietly asking … I wrote down all of them by name. I need help. I need their support. I needed to connect rather than to close off.

"And I can remember feeling his presence there, very clearly, in the room. Yeah. I don’t know, maybe I was making that up, but that’s what I remember feeling."

Hugh - who has Oscar, 22, and Ava, 17, with wife Deborra-Lee Furness - credited making the movie for making him a better parent.

He explained to Deadline: "I certainly have learned a lot about vulnerability as a parent. The idea of not knowing. The idea of admitting. I mean, I have a 17 and 22 year old. So, the idea of leading with … I’m not hiding from them my vulnerabilities or my doubt or my worry.

"Just recently, I remember I was worried about something with one of my kids and I could see the look on their face, and I could see that they thought I was disappointed. That’s what I was reading. My son walked off and I went downstairs, and I said, 'I get that feeling you think I’m disappointed, but I’m just worried.'

"And we ended up having really good conversation.

"And I think prior to this movie, I would’ve thought, that’s not helpful for them. That actually, what they need is strength and surety and a kind of feeling that, 'My dad knows what to do. That feeling.

"But actually, I realise that doesn’t help. And it’s OK to have these discussions."

Originally published on celebretainment.com, part of the BLOX Digital Content Exchange.

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