PHOTO: GAVIN FOO / THE NEW PAPER
Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
The New Paper
Thursday, May 15, 2014
How close were fans to Hugh Jackman yesterday when he was in town? Close enough for a prized selfie, for some. Close enough to exchange a few words even, for others.
But for one very lucky girl, close enough to get a feel of his famously well-defined chest.
It must have been a treat. After all, the hunky Australian actor boasts an impressive physique, thanks to a twice-daily gym routine.
For the rest of the estimated 4,000 fans outside Shaw House at Orchard Road yesterday, they had to make do with ogling Jackman, better known to fans as Wolverine.
The 45-year-old, together with his X-Men: Days of Future Past co-stars Peter Dinklage and Fan Bingbing, was walking down the blue carpet at the South-east Asian premiere of the superhero blockbuster, which hits theatres here next Thursday.
In the movie, the metal claw-wielding Wolverine volunteers to travel back in time to the 1970s to prevent a mutant apocalypse. Characters from the original X-Men film trilogy team up with their younger selves from 2011's X-Men: First Class.
The movie also stars Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult.
Singapore is the fifth stop in the global promotional tour after the US, UK, China and Russia, and the only South-east Asian destination.
Local celebrities were also out in full force, like actor-host Bobby Tonelli, MTV Asia VJs Hanli Hoefer and Alan Wong and actress Beatrice Chia-Richmond.
Jackman was the first to arrive to deafening screams. He high-fived fans, reached out for their phones to take selfies and even offered words of encouragement.
"Oh, good luck to you then," he said to a fan who had told him she was sitting for her examinations the next day.
US Game of Thrones star Dinklage, 44, was next, followed by Chinese actress-singer Fan, 32. Dinklage, who stars as military scientist Bolivar Trask, was the cheekiest of the lot, often making funny faces when posing for selfies with fans. Fan, known as new teleporting mutant Blink in the movie, preferred group shots.
The three later took to the stage with emcees Utt and Lim Peifen.
"I just want to say, as someone who has been in all the X-Men movies and someone who has been around the world - this is huge. You guys bring some energy here," said Jackman, who later praised the "really good" kaya toast and eggs breakfast he had.
FEEL AT HOME
"This is my first time here and it is far, far away from home, but you make me feel right at home. This is one of the most exciting premieres I've been to," he said.
The stars were not the only ones gushing. Even "Wolverine" himself was over the moon.
Mr Rocky Go, who works in the construction industry, came dressed as his favourite X-Men character. He joined others who were in mutant get-up like Beast and Gambit. Mr Go, 40, described Jackman: "He was really nice and friendly. It was great to see him in person."
For Malaysian Kelly Tan, the six-hour wait was well worth the trip she made from Johor Baru with her sister to see Jackman. Miss Tan, who managed to score a selfie with her favourite star, said: "He is handsome and oh-so-charming".
To which her sister, Ms Jacklyn Tan, 27, a receptionist, could not resist adding: "He is better-looking in person!"
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