Hugh Jackman Stayed With Gary Hart Before Filming 'The Front Runner'

"I did ask him questions but my main reason to visit him was I wanted to be able to look him in the eye and let him know that I respected him and his story, and that I took it seriously," Jackman told the Actors roundtable.

“Gary [Hart] is 82, he lives in Colorado and was generous enough to invite me up there to stay with him and his family,” Hugh Jackman told the Actors roundtable on stepping into the shoes of the former politician for The Front Runner.

“I had done a lot of research before. Everybody who’s met him, knows him, worked with him said he’s hard to get a grip on. He’s mercurial, he’s enigmatic, he’s hard to define, incredibly smart.”

He added: “I arrive at Denver Airport and he was there curbside to pick me up. I walked out and I shook hands with him ... and his other hand he placed on my cheek. And for two or three seconds he just looked me in the eye, kind of to say, ‘This is OK to be OK. I know this is awkward. This is going to be OK,’” the actor recalled.

Hart opened his home to the actor and even offered his bedroom to Jackman while he and his wife, who had just undergone hip surgery, slept on the fold-out sofa.

“I was putting my jacket up in his closet and he was incredibly open and warm,” Jackman added.

The actor knew opening up 30-year-old wounds would be “super painful” to Hart and admitted he was “nervous about playing someone who was going to see the movie.”

“I did ask him questions but my main reason to visit him was I wanted to be able to look him in the eye and let him know that I respected him and his story, and that I took it seriously,” Jackman says. “I couldn’t promise I was going to be brilliant or anything like that, but I wanted him to know my intention: that I respected him.”