Hugh Jackman Tim Ferriss podcast (Some takeaways)

Hugh Jackman was on the Tim Ferriss podcast. It is not new. A tweet by Scott Adams brought it to my attention.

Hugh Jackman Tim Ferriss
Picture of the big man himself, taken from his twitter profile.

Now, I am by no stretch a huge Hugh Jackman fan. He’s enjoyable as Wolverine in the X-men films. The Prestige is one of my favourite Chris Nolan films. Baz Luhrmann’s Australia is underrated.

The Hugh Jackman, Tim Ferris podcast, turned out to be one of the best podcasts I heard. At least since the Kanye West Joe Rogan interview.

This goes without saying, but the Hugh Jackman, Tim Ferriss podcast, is more concise than the former. It’s half the time, has more actionable insights and is all around a feel-good listen.

You’ll come away thinking Hugh Jackman is an even more top bloke already.

You might even consider investing in a rowing machine.

Here are links to;




Hugh Jackman Tim Ferriss Podcast takeaways

What follows are some of my takeaways from the podcast. These are not in any particular order.

Quality time as a couple

Hugh and his wife, Deborra, set aside quality time for each other at the start of each day. They will read in bed together. Hugh and Deborra take turns reading out loud to one another. If one of them reads something that they want to explore further, they can. They read at the start of the day because they realise it is the only chance they will get.

Goal setting and Accountability- Text someone

Hugh sets out goals that he wants to accomplish that day. These goals are phrased in the present tense, for example; “I have a great time today bonding with my son”. He will text this to his life coach in the morning. Later on, around 5pm, he will follow up and say how many items he checked off on the list—4/10 6/7 that kind of thing.

This sounds similar to Brian Tracey’s goal setting. What makes this even more useful is the accountability factor. Being accountable to someone is useful because it puts pressure on you to actually do what you say you’re going to do. You will let yourself away with slacking. When it comes to other people, you want to prove that your word means something.

Hugh also wrote down his goals every day on The Greatest Showman. Initially, he did not want to do the film. Once he committed to it, he gave it his all.


Hugh is big into meditation. He would do it twice a day sometimes.

Hugh describes meditation as learning to quiet the monkey mind. You know the monkey mind? The part of you that is always looking for instant gratification. The monkey mind is the part of you that keeps you distracted, preventing you from doing what you were put here to do.

Meditation is something I do almost every day. To do it twice a day? That’s a challenge I want to take. Half an hour in total, every day? Sounds doable.

85% rule

Hugh talks about the 85% rule. Athletes talk about performance anxiety. If you tell them to give 100% they’ll succumb to performance anxiety and not give their best. On the other hand, tell them to give 85% they are more relaxed. They’ll do better because there is not as much pressure on them to perform.

The same applies to us. Think of a time someone has told you that your very life depends on you acing some test. You probably panicked a bit. OK now think of a time someone told you that it was not the end of the world.

In fact, that is what happened to me on this blog. I created the category “Quick bits”. It was a means to feel comfortable not having to put my heart and soul into everything. Turns out some of my best work has come out of not feeling I have to be good.

Always be learning

Hugh Jackman’s father would say to him, “Always invest in education”.

Hugh has a life coach. Even he admits to it sounding a bit out there. He talks about the necessity of having someone like that in his life.

Hugh is always open to learning more about himself. He is a systematic thinker. When Jackman mentions how Pavarotti had a vocal coach until his death you understand that part of what makes the great..erm… great is they are the eternal student. I look at Hugh and think, what more has he got to learn. Turns out he’s hungry for knowledge.

Hugh regularly consumes episodes of the Tim Ferris podcast and booked a place on Seth Godin’s seminar. Hugh always appears to be moving forward and trying new things.

Maybe you think you know it all, you do not. Maybe you think you don’t have time, you do.

Learn when to surrender

Hugh talks about how he stopped mid-show during his arena tour to speak to a kid in the audience. The kid had a story about how he went through severe and life-altering surgery. The Greatest Showman kept him motivated and helped keep his spirits up. His dream was to be on stage and perform with Hugh. That night the kid got his wish, and according to Hugh, there was not a dry eye in the house.

Out of all the audience why this kid? It seems like Hugh has developed a good intuition when it comes to listening to his gut. He knows when to go with the flow.

Follow your curiosity.

Stickler for ethics

Hugh has a great love for his dad. Hugh’s mum walked out on the family when he was 8. Raising Hugh and his siblings were left up to his dad.

His dad was a stickler for ethics.

“If your friend invites you to dinner and you say yes, go. Even if you get invited to dinner with the Queen, you go to your friends”

This is admirable, and it might seem like common sense in practice it can be difficult.

Here’s an example of where I failed at this. I wrote and directed a feature film (Deadville, you can watch it here). The premier was sold out. At the last minute, Oscar-nominated actor Stephen Rea wanted to attend. I had to ask people to give up their tickets. My uncle and aunt gave up their tickets, and I got a photo with the actor. It felt good at the time but looking back I should have said no.

Next film, my uncle and aunt will be getting it all for free. In fact, maybe I’ll send them a copy of Write Your Screenplay in 12 days.

Anyway, what was the point? Oh yeah, live up to the standards you set for yourself.

Myself included.

Be polite

At one point Hugh recounts how he managed to talk a casting agent into getting a meeting with the stage director, Trevor Nunn. It turned out to be a transformative moment in Hugh’s life. It was an acting masterclass for him.

Tim Ferris asks Hugh why did the casting agent go above and beyond for him like that. There is a moment of silence, and Hugh says he’s not sure.

Without knowing Hugh let me hypothesise. Hugh Jackman seems like a great guy. Super polite, charismatic, he makes people feel like they’re the star.

Check out this video where Jackman recognises a former student.

Hugh got to make a big ask of the casting agent because he is the kind of person you want to do stuff for.

Always be polite (this is a reminder to myself)

Make your own choice.

Hugh got an offer to appear on the Australian soap Neighbors. For the uninitiated, the soap opera is a rite of passage for many Aussie actors. Kylie Minogue, Russell Crow, Margot Robbie, Liam Hemsworth all appeared on the soap.

Hugh was excited at the prospect of being in the show but was unsure. He went to his father to ask for advice. His father refused to tell him what to do.

Hugh had to make his own choice. He decided against going on the show and instead furthered his studies.

When he told his father, he was relieved Hugh chose to study. Hugh was exasperated that his father kept the advice from him. Later on, Hugh realised that he and by extension you have to choose for yourself in the end.

Preach through actions, not words

Hugh’s father was a born again Christian, yet he never preached to others. His father believed that if people asked, then he would tell. Until that point, he would live out his beliefs through his actions. Hugh adopted the same approach to his own life.

You probably know someone who lectures on and on about how good and pure they are, but it turns out that they’re not. Think about the scandals that have rocked Vegan Instagram, for example.

If you have to go on about how kind you are, there’s a chance you’re compensating for something.


The Hugh Jackman, Tim Ferriss podcast, is a fantastic insight. It is a dive into the daily routines and systems of a successful actor.

If you get a chance, give it a listen.


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