Hugh Jackman made the tabloid media this week, TMZ and YouTube. This happened on the same day more serious news shows were talking about a tsunami that hit the Samoas. I found the Jackman story when I went on Yahoo to check my mail.
It seems during a preview performance (aka dress rehearsal) of his new play “A Steady Rain” scheduled to open October 6, Jackman and co-star Daniel Craig (James Bond in the movies) were on stage in a tense scene when someone’s cell phone went off. Some say Jackman broke character and said to the offender, “You want to get that?” When the ringing continued, he said, “Come on, just turn it off.” Then he walked about the stage until the noise stopped, before resuming the play.
This incident should bring only empathy for the people involved because most of us have been there. Any person who has performed or spoken in public, been to a movie, play or any performance starring your kid has probably been irritated by a ring tone. We, too, have longed to yell at the careless person who ignored the reminders, yea the pleas to silence cell phones. We’ve been there.
And we’ve been the poor schmo who forgot to silence a cell phone, then when it goes off, decides to ignore it. Fake it out. Pretend it belongs to someone else. Look straight ahead and let it ring, perhaps glancing around ready to glare once the culprit is located. Don’t deny it, you’ve been there. As bad luck would have it, this phone must have been one of those that rings softly the first time but continues to grow in volume each successive ring and doesn’t stop until it gets attention.
Think about it: Hugh Jackman’s playing a tough cop, in a tense scene, during “hell” week (last rehearsals before opening). Some say he broke character to ream out the cell phone owner, others say that he was still very much the tough cop, ordering the person to take care of it, pacing the floor until it stopped.
And how about the person taking the video on his cell phone? We’ve all heard the announcement “no video or sound recording permitted.” This is not just a control issue for the theater owner, it has to do with copyright laws. So someone made an illegal video. And put it on YouTube. And TMZ showed it on national television.