Hugh Jackman sang many of the songs in The Greatest Showman - s0 why did Jeremy Jordan sing for him during the demo? It’s no secret Hugh Jackman has a great set of pipes. The Australian actor started out performing in various musical theater productions including Beauty And The Beast, Sunset Boulevard and as cowboy Curly McLain in a West End production of Oklahoma! which earned him a Laurence Olivier Award.
Even after Jackman got his film breakthrough playing Wolverine in the X-Men franchise, he stayed true to his musical theater roots, taking roles in productions of Carousel and The Boy From Oz and in 2012 he played Jean Valjean in Tom Hooper’s big screen adaptation of Les Misérables. Earlier this year, Jackman embarked on a global tour with The Man. The Music. The Show in which he performs songs from both Broadway and Hollywood musicals alongside a few Greatest Showman numbers.
The Greatest Showman was a longtime passion project for Jackman and he spent the best part of a decade trying to bring the P.T. Barnum biopic to the big screen. The film finally went into production in 2015 with first-time director Michael Gracey at the helm, but before 20th Century Fox gave The Greatest Showman the official go-ahead they wanted to see a read-through of the script and hear some of the songs. Unfortunately, the day before everybody was set to meet Jackman had surgery on his nose to remove skin cancer which required 80 stitches and came with strict doctor’s order not to sing.
Rather than cancel the read-through and risk the future of the film, actor and singer Jeremy Jordan stood in for Jackman by providing vocals while he mimed the stage directions to give everyone an idea of what he’d look like. Broadway sensation Jordan – who recently reprised his role as Winslow "Winn" Schott Jr. on Supergirl – was an ideal choice to understudy for Jackman having starred in several musicals including Newsies and Bonnie & Clyde.
While Jackman tried to obey his doctor’s order during the read-through, one song got the better of him. When Jeremy Jordan started singing The Greatest Showman’s penultimate musical number ‘From Now On’, Jackman couldn’t help himself and started singing along to the power ballad. Whether that was what convinced Fox to go ahead with the film is unknown but Michael Gracey certainly seems to think so, calling it a “euphoric moment” that helped get The Greatest Showman a greenlight.