When Australian superstar, Hugh Jackman, returned to his homeland for the Melbourne premiere of his last movie X-men: Days of Future Past last Friday, local media and fans flooded Melbourne Central station to meet and greet the down-to-earth star.
Who would have thought that, in all that red carpet chaos, when you introduce yourself to Hugh Jackman as a Greek Australian newspaper journalist, his reaction would be: “You know that I am one eighth Greek?”
Despite previous articles that stated Jackman’s Greek heritage, the star’s reaction and enthusiasm caught this journalist in awe and disbelief, as well as the surrounding media colleagues.
Jackman was all smiles while confirming to Neos Kosmos that he has Greek roots.
“Did you know that? Yes, it’s true that I am one eighth Greek,” the actor told Neos Kosmos.
Jackman was surprising in how much knowledge he had of his Greek connection, identifying the family surname and the island from which they came.
“The family surname was Bellas. My great-grandfather, from my father’s side, was Greek.
“It was an island, I think Ios, is that right?”
Though he has visited Greece before, Hugh told Neos Kosmos he hasn’t been to the island of his predecessors yet, but is ready to finally visit and track his roots.
“I have not been there yet, but my dad and his brother used to go a lot.
“I’m ready to go back,” he said.
Hugh’s paternal grandmother, Glory Margaret Bellas, was a daughter of Nicholas Isidor Bellas and Dora Bellas, née Furniss.
The Melbourne premiere of X-men, sponsored by technology company TCL, was one of seven world premieres that featured the movie cast.
It was also a charity night for the Fight Cancer Foundation, of which Jackman is an ambassador.
The actor himself had recently had a carcinoma removed from his nose, with the healing wound visible at the Melbourne red carpet.
Chinese actress Fan Bingbing was also present at the premiere, as well as Peter Dinklage, best known as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones.
Once the frenetic red carpet was over, the most famous (Greek) Australian, the Hollywood star Hugh Jackman proved he’s not too big to catch public transport to a television studio.
He left Melbourne Central on the train to South Yarra.
X-Men: Days of Future Past opened in cinemas on Thursday, 22 May.