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Vincent Fauntazzo on Hugh Jackman

In their own words

Recorded 2021

Vincent Fauntazzo on Hugh Jackman
Audio: 1 minute 24 seconds

You know, I'm highly dyslexic and my way of learning was to directly interact with people and hang out with them and I found that once I did a few portraits, I thought, wow, this is like a licence to stalk people, you know, people are really open and want to be a part of it and I get to know people. And when you get to know people, you learn so much from them. So I think I just became interested in people.

So Hugh asked for me to do his portrait. We actually share a lot of mutual friends, but you never know, it’s like going on a blind date with someone, you meet up with them and you actually have a real great connection. Photography’s a big part of the portrait to me and I normally film people and just base the portrait on all my images and film so I can see those moments. Hugh’s son is very into art and quite creative and he wanted to bring his son along for the photo shoot. So I had a plan up my sleeve that I was gonna ask his son to talk to his Dad and pull the trigger on a camera. And then the virus hit. And then Hugh called me up the night before he was coming to do photographs at my house and said, ‘If I don’t jump on a plane tonight then I’m gonna get shut out of the U.S.’ And his family was there, so they had to fly off and that didn’t happen. And then I made a video for Deb, Hugh’s wife, on how to shoot the portrait and I think because Deb took the pictures there’s this beautiful look in … The painting’s quite different to the photograph because I made it black and white and added my own touch to it, but there’s a look in Hugh’s eyes and you can tell it’s a conversation with someone that he knows and trusts, it’s not a GQ photo shoot which is probably great images as well. But I didn’t want that; I wanted that intimacy we spoke about. So I think there’s a love and intimacy that I think I’ve got.

Related people

Hugh Jackman AC

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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