But Jackman—the owner of roles as diverse as flitty song & dance guy Peter Allen in Broadway’s “The Boy From Oz” and macho superhero “Wolverine” in the blockbuster “XMen” movie series—never would have succeeded if he’d bowed to his fears.
Seven years ago, the native Australian was unknown, a young man whose mother had abandoned his family when he was 8 years old. Jackman channeled his anger into determination.
“I’ve always felt that if you back down from a fear, the ghost of that fear never goes away,” Jackman says. “It diminishes people. So, I’ve always said ‘Yes’ to the thing I’m most scared about.”
Facing his fear always worked, whether it was playing rugby, fending off bullies or reaching for the character of Wolverine in “X-Men.”
“The fear of letting myself down, of saying ‘No’ to something I was afraid of,” Jackman says, “that galvanizes me more than anything.”
—Adapted from “Say ‘Yes’ To What Scares You,” James Kaplan, Parade.