Animated pile of muscle and sideburns Hugh Jackman is the subject of a fawning Hollywood Reporter cover story by Stephen Galloway. The piece most notably touches on the rumors of gayness that are as synonymous with Jackman's public profile as his Wolverine character. Don't expect much probing, however, from an article that refers to its subject as a "complex and far-ranging figure" and "open and immensely likable." Jackman doesn't want to be probed. Can't you hear him?

Here's the gay bit:

Despite these friends and a seemingly idyllic life, Jackman admits rumors about his sexuality have taken a greater toll than previously acknowledged, especially on his wife [Deborra-Lee Furness]. "Just recently, it bugs her," he says, blaming the Internet, which she frequents more than he does. (Jackman largely sticks to cricket sites and The Economist.) "She goes: 'It's big. It's everywhere!'"

His X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner shrugs off the gossip. "I have seen him with Deborra since the beginning of their trip to Hollywood, and I've been on five movie sets with him and have never seen him stray, have never seen him eye anyone. I met him when he did Oklahoma! [at London's Royal National Theatre in 1999]. He was genuine, hugely talented. He was in love with his wife that day and still is."

I wonder what cricket sites he looks at. Surely not this one.

Jackman and Furness, who at 57 is 13 years his senior, have been married for almost 17 years. If this is a ruse, it is a marathon ruse, the product of the same kind of slavish devotion Jackman gives to his roles. He didn't drink liquids during the day, for example, so that he'd look freakishly gaunt for the opening scene of Les Misérables ("Then I wanted to drink water out of the ocean!"). For his role in X-Men: Days of Future Past, he is "consuming vats of food for eight hours straight, then going without any for 16 hours." That diet does not include dick.

That said, Jackman's description of his courtship Furness is so generic, it's not-ready-for-Lifetime:

She was very beautiful. She was unbelievably fun — this energy, this spirit — irrepressible. And she had a confidence in herself. I had a massive crush on her instantly...She was sort of the opposite of me. I was very 'Even Steven,' and she was thrilling to me. I was always really attracted to that — though at one point, as it was getting really serious, it terrified me.

Two more items of note from the sprawling piece:

  • Self-help guru/people-burner Tony Robbins has helped Jackman come up with names for his confident and shy sides. Hugh Jackman's Sasha Fierce is named "Frank" and his Beyoncé is named "Charles."

"Frank was the more confident, and Charles was the other," says Jackman. "I always thought strength came from getting rid of that fear. And Tony said: 'Charles is your sensitivity. Charles makes you question. Charles makes you work harder. When you walk on set, thank Charles for everything.' " He pauses. "Tony really transformed my life."

  • Hugh Jackman is friends with Rupert Murdoch after meeting the mogul in a pool:

[Murdoch's wife] Wendi and Nicole Kidman were very good friends. It was Nicole's birthday, and we all went to Soho House in New York, and we were in the pool. He was holding his daughter, and I was holding my son, and we became friends.

Meeting dudes is easy.

[The Hollywood Reporter via Towleroad]

[Image via Getty]