The West

They might be longer than the metal claws fans are used to, but Hugh Jackman looks just as deadly with a sword and dagger.

The fighting fit 45-year-old was snapped in New York this week preparing for his role as Blackbeard in the reworked children's classic Pan.

In a departure from his typical role as hero, Jackman will play the villain in Warner Brothers' big-budget interpretation of Peter Pan.

He practised with a variety of weapons, lunging in and out and hacking at imaginary enemies with all the cruel intent of a villainous pirate.

The blades rose and fell in murderous arcs and Jackman's T-shirt was quickly drenched in sweat. Then he swapped the swords for boxing gloves, completing a vigorous kickboxing workout.

His inconspicuous choice of clothing failed to fool onlookers, who stopped to watch him.

The Les Miserables star is due in Perth next week to launch the Jackman Furness Foundation for the Performing Arts.

With screen legend Jack Thompson as patron, the foundation will support art education groups.

Jackman, who graduated from the WA Academy of Performing Arts 20 years ago, hopes to raise $10 million over the next four years. He will host a cabaret performance at the Mt Lawley academy on Saturday next week.

The West Australian

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