Coronavirus

Watch Hugh Jackman Rave About Zac Efron In Exclusive 'The Greatest Showman' Behind the Scenes Clip

Hugh Jackman (P.T. Barnum) and Zac Efron (Philip Carlisle) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s "The Greatest Showman."
Niko Tavernise/Twentieth Century Fox 

Hugh Jackman (P.T. Barnum) and Zac Efron (Philip Carlisle) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s "The Greatest Showman."

The Greatest Showman, whose soundtrack spent two weeks atop the Billboard 200 albums chart, comes to home video Tuesday (April 10) with its release on Blu-ray and 4k UHD. It is already available digitally.

In this exclusive clip from the home video release, director Michael Gracey and Hugh Jackman, who played P.T. Barnum, rave about Zac Efron, who was cast as Barnum’s partner, Phillip Carlyle. Plus, the snippet shows previously unreleased rehearsal footage of Efron preparing for his role.

“Zac was really determined to do something different from what he’d done before, to take his skill to a different level and he did,” says Jackman.

Gracey praised Efron, who was one of the first actors to sign on to the film. “The rapport that he had with Hugh was immediate. Their scene work together, the banter between the two of them, it is just fantastic.”

The film, which has grossed more than $172 million, according to BoxOffice Mojo, resonated with fans for its message of inclusion, especially through the song, “This Is Me,” which, like all the songs in the film, was penned by La La Land Oscar winners, Justin Paul and Benj Pasek. 

Gracey told Billboard that he was not surprised that people gravitated toward the film, and felt an emotional connection to its themes. “To be honest, I’m not entirely surprised with the reaction. Even during our test screenings, it was apparent that people engaged with the film in a very meaningful way,” he says. “The film is designed so that once you see it, you immediately want to see it again. The fact that people did go back again was not a surprise, as much as it was a joy to watch.”

The soundtrack soared to the top of Billboard’s album charts, with four songs from the film also landing on the Billboard Hot 100. The songs often drove the story and the soundtrack drove people to see the film. “As the film is a musical, the music is intrinsically linked to the movie's success,” Gracey says. “We worked tirelessly to write songs that would engage an audience beyond strictly musical fans. And fortunately, the soundtrack brought people into the theater who may not have gone otherwise.

Many fans had a visceral reaction to the songs, from the self-empowering, “This is Me,” to the romantic “Rewrite the Star,” but one fan’s story has stuck with Gracey. “There are so many, but one that always comes to mind is an Instagram video from Veronica Crowfoot of her daughter, Hazel, who is battling cancer,” Gracey said. “After singing “This Is Me,” her mum asks her why it’s her favorite song and she says proudly, “because I am brave and I am bruised.”

The Greatest Showman is also available on iTunes as both a Sing-Along edition, which includes the lyrics on the screen, and as a Music Machine Jukebox version, which lets viewers jump directly to whatever song from the film they select. 

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.