Hugh Jackman Says He’s Gone To Therapy, Explains How It’s Helped Him Get Over Being Abandoned By His Mom

Hugh Jackman in The Son
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Classics)

The latest film project Hugh Jackman pursued was when he pitched himself for Florian Zeller’s The Son about a father who struggles to know what to do about his son’s mental health issues. As Jackman has said in interviews before about the importance of seeking mental health treatment, he decided to follow his own advice. The Australian actor says he has gone to therapy which has helped him confront the unresolved trauma of his mother abandoning him when he was a child.

When Hugh Jackman was eight-years-old, his parents divorced which led to his mother moving to her native U.K. home with her daughters. She never returned to Australia. Today reported that 54-year-old Jackman spoke to the Australian publication Who magazine about how therapy has helped him deal with his unresolved trauma.

I just started it recently. It helped me a lot. We all need a village. Most importantly, it's helping me to be more relational with the people I love in my life, and really understanding and living in their shoes and being clear to be able to see them.

This proves that even a talented actor who wowed us with his best performances could still be dealing with inner turmoil after all of these years. Therapy really is a great way to better process deep feelings lurking inside of you and can offer you a new perspective. Jackman continued telling Who magazine how traumatic it was to believe his mother would come back to him only for that dream to never surface during his youth.

Back in 2012, Hugh Jackman spoke to 60 Minutes Australia that the last time he saw his mother was when he waved goodbye to her as he was leaving for school. When Jackman returned home, his mother wasn’t there. 

There was no one there in the house. The next day there was a telegram from England, Mom was there. And then that was it. I don’t think she thought for a second it would be forever. I think she thought it was, ‘I just need to get away, and I’ll come back. Dad used to pray every night that mom would come back.

But, don’t fret for the Prisoners star as this story has a happy ending for him and his mother. As an adult, he eventually reunited with her. When Jackman spoke with The Hollywood Reporter in 2013, he said he understood what his mother was going through. He explained she felt “trapped” with postpartum depression after he was born and felt separated from her husband working long hours. As you look through photos of The Greatest Showman actor and his mother now on Instagram, this mother-and-son duo are all smiles with each other. It's clearly never too late to strengthen severed ties.

The film/theater actor really could use a mother right now as his father passed away last year during Australia’s Father’s Day at the age of 84. He honored his father by talking about how “extraordinary” he was and how devoted he was to his work, family, and faith. Fans were sweet enough to send support to Jackman following his tragic loss. I’m sure his father would be proud of him today for seeking to improve his mental health and confronting his past trauma.

Hugh Jackman and his mother may have a great relationship with each other today, but the Oscar-nominated actor acknowledges there’s still room for mental health improvement in terms of not growing up with a mother. You can watch Hugh Jackman’s standing ovation performance in the 2023 release of The Son on January 20th.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.