We already know Hugh Jackman is the greatest showman — he can sing, he can dance, he can act, but now he’s playing the greatest showman. He stars as the man behind the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Chris flew up to New York City for a circus of an interview with Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron.
Hugh Jackman (as P.T. Barnum): “Ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for.”
Oh that’s right, Hugh. We’ve been waiting five years since “Les Mis” for you to star in another musical.
Hugh Jackman (as P.T. Barnum): “I’m putting together a show, and I need a star.”
Hugh Jackman plays “The Greatest Showman” P.T. Barnum, the guy who created the Barnum & Bailey Circus. The movie is set in the 1800s and shows his drive and determination to make this show work.
Chris Van Vliet: “There’s this great moment in the movie where P.T. realizes that he needs to have live performers as part of his show to really step things up, and that was a game-changer for him.”
Hugh Jackman: “Totally.”
Chris Van Vliet: “What was the game-changer in your career? Where you started doing things differently and it completely changed.”
Hugh Jackman: “I did a musical here on Broadway called ‘The Boy From Oz,’ and I remember — not my agent — but various other people saying, ‘This is a really bad idea.’ Without me even planning it or realizing it, so many film directors saw that and cast me in things from that that I never would have done otherwise.”
Zendaya (as Anne Wheeler): “And what is your act?”
Zac Efron (as Phillip Carlyle): “I don’t have an act.”
Zendaya (as Anne Wheeler): “Everyone’s got an act.”
Barnum’s right hand man is played by Zac Efron, and together they round up a cast of performers unlike anything people at that time had ever seen.
Zac Efron: “There’s something about breaking through that barrier of what is your worst fear.”
For Zac and his costar Zendaya, that worst fear was tested on the first day of filming.
Zendaya: “One of our first ‘get-to-know-each-other’ moments was, you know, like, ‘OK, so here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to grab onto this rope with one hand. You’re going to run away from each other, and then full force speed ahead, and while we lift you into the air, you’re going to try to grab each other.'”
Chris Van Vliet: “Oh, just like that. It’s super easy.”
Zendaya: “I kid you not, that’s kind of how the conversation went.”
Paul Sparks (as James Gordon Bennett): “Does it bother you that everything you’re selling is fake?”
Hugh Jackman (as P.T. Barnum): “Do these smiles seem fake?”
The movie is one part musical, one part biopic, but all parts inspirational.
Hugh Jackman (as P.T. Barnum): “Follow your gut because even if it doesn’t work out, you can live with that. It’s when you do something because someone else told you it’s a good idea, it’s very hard to live with.”
Hugh Jackman (as P.T. Barnum): “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”
“The Greatest Showman” swings into theaters Dec. 20.
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