He's played dozens of roles, from hosting Saturday Night Live to channeling Peter Allen, an English duke, Jean Valjean, and the mutant superhero Wolverine (among others).* These days, Hugh Jackman's relegated to a supporting role in what could be his most interesting project to date.
A self-described "coffee snob" -- as he recently put it to Time Magazine's Esther Zuckerman, "we love our coffee and we’re a little arrogant about it" -- Jackman has high standards when it comes to his java. He's been known to bemoan the difficulty of getting a good Flat White in NYC, and states that the coffee culture is different in Australia and the United States. His latest film, a documentary called Dukale's Dream, originally had a much different form than what premiered in the States on June 5.
What began as a short film intended to highlight the work of World Vision found new life when when Jackman met Dukale, an Ethiopian coffee farmer. Despite language and cultural barriers, the two hit it off and maintain a friendship to this day. As the friendship grew, so did the scope of the project. Jackman, concerned with finding effective ways of alleviating poverty, saw a unique opportunity to do so in and beyond Dukale's village.
Seven years later, Dukale is the focus of a documentary, "Dukale's Dream," that's now in limited release and his coffee has made its way to the States. In the interim, Jackman's Laughing Man Foundation -- inspired in part by the model pioneered by the Newman's Own Foundation -- is using fair trade practices, education, community development and microlending to lift growers and their families in Ethiopia, Colombia and elsewhere out of poverty.
Don't be surprised if you start seeing quite a bit more of the Laughing Man name. Besides gracing Jackman's charitable foundation, it's also the basis for a series of signature blends for Keurig Green Mountain (one of which, Dukale's Blend, bears the name of his friend and muse), and two New York cafes. In the meantime, find out more below:
Dukale's Dream Trailer: Dukale's Dream Website:http://dukalesdream.com/
Laughing Man Foundation: http://laughingmanfoundation.org/
Hugh Jackman's interview with Time's Esther Zuckerman Laughing Man at KeurigHugh Jackman talks Fair Trade on Live with Kelly and Michael:*Not all at once, though I have to admit, an Adamantium-skeletoned Billy Bigelow crooning a medley of "I Go To Rio/Valjean's Soliloquy" would be particularly memorable.
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