Australian actor Hugh Jackman has spoken about the tumultuous relationship he’s had with his mother, Grace McNeil, in the past. He recalls the woman abandoning his family when he was just eight. In a new social media post, the actor published a rare photo with his mother, simply captioned, “Mum”.
“I can remember the morning she left, it’s weird the things you pick up. I remember her being in a towel around her head and saying goodbye, must have been the way she said goodbye,” he told 60 Minutes in 2012.
“As I went off to school, when I came back, there was no one there in the house,” he continued. “The next day there was a telegram from England. Mum 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 Mum would come back.”
The Greatest Showman star was in born 1968, 12 months after his family migrated to Australia from the United Kingdom. His parents later divorced. As an adult however Jackman worked to forge a new relationship with McNeil. In another 2012 interview with Women’s Weekly (per news.com.au), the actor revealed he spoke extensively with her.
“The thing I never felt and I know this might sound strange, I never felt that my mum didn’t love me. I’ve spoken about it at length with her since and I know she was struggling.”
Jackman is best known as the Wolverine in the X-Men franchise as well as starring alongside Zendaya and Zac Efron in The Greatest Showman and Nicole Kidman in the award-winning feature film, Australia.
Just recently Kate Hudson spoke about her own trauma from family life. Similarly, Hudson grew up without having a relationship with her father.
“I had personal struggles or familial situations that were challenging,” Hudson explained. “[They] kind of prepared me for my future and my success. I had a lot of personal trauma I never really allowed myself to be OK about, or recognise as being traumatic.”