Hugh Jackman has been selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to host the 81st Academy Awards ceremony on February 22, 2009.
“Hugh Jackman is a consummate entertainer and an internationally renowned movie star,” said producer Laurence Mark and executive producer Bill Condon in a joint statement. “He also has style, elegance and a sense of occasion. Hugh is the ideal choice to host a celebration of the year’s movies – and to have fun doing it.”
Jackman can currently be seen in theatres opposite Nicole Kidman in director Baz Luhrmann's Australia. He was also recently named the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine.
Considering that last year's Oscar telecast reached an all-time low in the ratings department, ABC will be hoping that Jackman can bring in a larger audience. Still, outside of the X-Men franchise Jackman is not a huge draw. Earlier this year, the thriller Deception sunk without a trace and it grossed less than $5 million domestically. Jackman starred opposite Ewan McGreggor and Michelle Williams in the film.
Jackman's luck on the small screen hasn't been much better. Last year he starred in the CBS show
Viva Laughlin, which was quickly canceled before finishing even half of a full season.