HUGH Jackman has missed out on a best actor BAFTA with the gong instead going to Daniel-Day Lewis for his portrayal of legendary US president Abraham Lincoln.
Jackman wasn’t confident heading into the Royal Opera House in London and with good reason – the bookies had installed Day-Lewis as an unbackable favourite.
But the Sydney-born actor told AAP just being nominated for his turn as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables was a thrill.
“This is just a joy,” the 44-year-old said on the red carpet, where he had to compete with an over-zealous fan belting out a tune from the screen musical.
“Any movie musical can go so wrong so easily.
“The fact we got nine nominations means a lot for us.”
Jackman was one of the hits of the red carpet with fans screaming his name to get his attention and a snap.
Despite atrocious conditions – it was cold and wet on Sunday evening – Jackman was all smiles as he talked to the world’s press at the British Academy Film Awards.
Before the ceremony Day-Lewis was the favourite at 1/25. Jackman was on the next at 10/1.
On the red carpet, Jackman wasn’t confident about his chances.
“In my nature I’m not a betting man – particularly if I’m in the race,” he told the BBC.
“I wouldn’t bet on me.”
The Sydney-born actor said singing for 12 hours a day during filming was “gruelling”, but having done stage musicals in the past – which can involve eight shows a week – stood him in good stead.
Jackman’s co-star Anne Hathaway won best supporting actress for her portrayal of Fantine in Les Miserables.
“I share this with the cast and crew,” the American said.
Hathaway paid special tribute to Jackman saying: “I’ve run out of superlatives for you, man – you’re just the best.”
Les Miserables also won BAFTAs for best production design, sound and make-up and hair.
Director Tom Hooper wasn’t nominated.
During the ceremony host Stephen Fry made a joke about actors at least not having silent letters in their names like some of the nominated films.
He cited Daniel Day-Lewis, Samuel L. Jackson and “Hug” Jackman, which drew a wry smile from the Aussie.
All is not lost for Jackman who has received a first Oscar nomination for his work in Les Mis.
The best actor Academy Award will be handed down on 24 February. – AAP