Australian actor Hugh Jackman, the star of “Wolverine” and “X-Men”, received a lifetime achievement award on Friday at the San Sebastian film festival in northern Spain.
“I have to say how humbly grateful and how surprised I am to receive this award,” the 44-year-old star told a press conference after collecting the festival’s Donostia award for his film career.
“It means a lot to me for many reasons. It is a rare thing as an actor to take a moment and look back at sometime, you always tend to think ahead to the future,” he added.
The Donostia Award — the Basque name for the coastal city San Sebastian — has been given out each year at the festival since 1986 to “a great film personality in recognition for their work and career.”
Past recipients include Gregory Peck, Bette Davis, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Richard Gere and Robert De Niro.
Jackman, who wore jeans and a black blazer, smiled and posed with fans after his film “Prisoners” was screened out of competition at the festival, the oldest and most prestigious event of its kind in the Spanish speaking world.
Directed by Canada’s Denis Villeneuve the nearly two and a half hour long movie tells the story of a distraught father, played by Jackman, who holds captive and tortures the troubled young man he believes kidnapped his six-year-old daughter.
Jackman, the father of two children with his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, said he researched the part by learning about kidnapping experiences and drawing on his own experiences as a parent.
“It is the most difficult research I’ve ever done,” he said.
The festival, held each year in San Sebastian, a picturesque seaside resort on the northwest Atlantic coast of Spain, was originally intended to honour Spanish-language films but it has established itself as one of the most important movie festivals in the world.
It hosted the world premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s spy thriller “North by Northwest” in 1959 and Woody Allen’s “Melinda and Melinda” in 2004.