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Did Hugh Jackman Really Sing In The Greatest Showman?

When you hear the name "Hugh Jackman," odds are the first thing that comes to mind is 20th Century Fox's now-concluded "X-Men" franchise. From 2000 to 2017, he took on the iconic role of Wolverine, using his adamantium claws to become a Hollywood bigshot in short order. However, in the years before, during, and following his run in the Marvel Universe, Jackman rose to prominence through several other beloved projects, ranging from director Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" to a 2012 cinematic adaptation of "Les Misérables." Perhaps his most prominent recent venture was 2017's "The Greatest Showman," helmed by first-time director Michael Gracey.

Released a mere few months after the closure of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, "The Greatest Showman" told a fictionalized rendition of the life of one of its figureheads, the late P.T. Barnum. It assembled a number of A-list talents to pull it off, including the aforementioned Jackman as Barnum, Michelle Williams as Charity Hallett-Barnum, Zac Efron as Phillip Carlyle, Rebecca Ferguson as Jenny Lind, and a host of others — dazzling audiences and a fair number of critics through its visual extravagance and unforgettable original songs.

Being the principal character of the piece, Hugh Jackman's P.T. Barnum does quite a bit of singing throughout "The Greatest Showman." But is it really the Australian-born actor in front of the microphone? Here's the reality of the Barnum-centric musical numbers.

Jackman went through the wringer for The Greatest Showman

In an interview with Variety (via Express), Hugh Jackman dished on his "Greatest Showman" experience and noted how physically demanding it was. "Vocally, sometimes you have those 'I can do anything' days, and the next day you're at 80%," he recalled, adding, "I sing notes that I've never sung. I couldn't have done that live." Not to mention, when it came time for acting and dancing, the production proved just as grueling to handle. "I have done a lot of dancing, but this was the most challenging."

So, in short, Hugh Jackman did indeed lend his vocal talents to "The Greatest Showman." However, when it came time for him and the rest of the cast to go through a table read to get 20th Century Fox on board, he didn't get to do much. The day prior, he received treatment on his nose for skin cancer, and his doctor told him point-blank not to sing, or he'd risk busting the stitches. As a result, he worked alongside Jeremy Jordan to make his part of the rehearsal work, with the Broadway star singing and Jackman silently acting out the accompanying scenes. 

Of course, Jackman did end up swapping with Jordan for "From Now On," and just as his doctor warned, the wound ripped itself wide open. He didn't regret ignoring his doctor's advice — though he apologized for it and got patched up again after the fact – as it allowed him to contribute to "The Greatest Showman" becoming the resounding success that it was. Things surely couldn't have worked out better.