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Hugh Jackman Reveals His Heartbreaking Childhood: 'Mum Left When I Was 8'

Jackman reveals how he went from a "volatile" youth to a happy, dancing man.

Hugh Jackman definitely seems like he's living the dream right now -- because owning a career where you can jump back and forth between superhero flicks and Oscar contenders is definitely "the dream" in Hollywood -- but as he recently told Parade, his early years had a whole lot more in common with Wolverine's that one might think.

"I was volatile," the "Pan" star told the mag. "My mum left when I was 8. My anger didn’t really surface until I was 12 or 13. It was triggered because my parents were going to get reconciled and didn’t. All those years I’d been holding out hope that they would.

"There was this perfect storm of hormones and emotion," Jackman continued. "I’ve never said this before: I just remembered that we had those metal lockers, and for some reason, half in fun, we used to head-butt the lockers until there was a dent in them. Like, who was the toughest and craziest? In playing rugby my rage would come out, rage that I identify as Wolverine rage. I’d be somewhere in a ruck in rugby, get punched in the face, and I’d just go into a white rage."

Jackman then added that feeling "powerless" contributed to his anger, but eventually, excelling at everything from "sports, the school musical, the cadet corps" at his Australian all-boys school calmed him down.

"I look for discipline and the structure that I was given at school," he explained. "Today, even when I’m not working, I structure my day. I’m regimented about my eating, my training, my singing practice and all that. I like that."

This discipline -- combined with religion, and a love for his family -- is what Jackman feels helps him thrive today. And thank gosh for it, because a Hugh Jackman bogged down by anger and violence would have never been able to give us this magical moment: