Can Someone Please Answer That Phone?

Hugh Jackman has been pretty busy over the last few months.  Just a few weeks ago the latest film from the X-Men series was released on DVD where Jackman plays the famed Marvel character Wolverine.  The film had some increased exposure before it was even released on DVD as it was leaked, in DVD quality nonetheless, to the general public and was downloaded over a million times before the film even hit theaters.  Skeptics say that it hurt ticket sales, but I would beg to differ.  Nothing compares to watching a film, especially one like this, in the theater.  The sound is better, the picture quality is better, and it provides a better experience overall.

Outside of the release of this film Jackman finds himself in another form of entertainment.  Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman both star in the Broadway play titled, “A Steady Rain”.  During a recent preview of this performance Jackman stepped right out of character, stopping the play all together, to set a rude audience member straight.  During the middle of one of the scenes a cell phone rang causing Jackman to become upset enough to stop the acting and start the preaching.  Jackman was caught on camera, as the video can be seen online on various websites, and told the rude individual, “You want to get that?”  He then proceeds to tell the person, “Come on, just turn it off.”

Of course the producers of the play refused to comment on the actions of Jackman.  The interruption came at a time during the play where Jackman’s character, ironically a policeman, is seen remembering events of the past.  (I am not sure how a scene where someone is simply remembering thoughts from the past can be called intense, but then again I have not seen the play so I cannot comment.)

The funny thing about all of this is that after the interruption, and before the play started up again, a voice came over the loud speakers telling the audience members to turn off their cell phones.  This was too little too late in my opinion.  They did finish the rest of the play without any further interruptions.

I think that Jackman might have gone a little over the top on this one.  Sure, when you go to a play or a movie, or anything in public for that matter, it is just courteous to turn off your cell phone or put it on vibrate.  I personally always have my cell phone on vibrate.  I am not sure I have even heard the ringer on my phone; as it is always on vibrate.  And yes, I understand that people can forget to turn it off or to vibrate, but is it really worth stopping the play, therefore hurting the experience for everyone else (regardless of approval) to tell one person to shut off his or her phone?

I do get upset, for instance, when I go to the movies and someone is talking, or sending a text on their phone illuminating the entire theater.  But I do not make an effort to tell that individual to put it away.  He paid just as much to see the movie as I did so I have no jurisdiction over his actions.  However, in this case, Jackman is the star (or Daniel Craig if you are a fan of his work more than Jackman’s) and he has the say on what happens on his stage and in this case even off stage.  I imagine that if you were on the set of a movie filming the next action thriller blockbuster with any given actor and a cell phone went off you might get the same reaction from the director or actors on set.  Look at the tangent that Christian Bale recently had for someone just walking through the back of his set.

“A Steady Rain” is a dramatic play that is about the relationship between two policemen.  The play opens this week but only for a limited engagement through December. 6th, 2009.  Jackman has some experience on Broadway as a matter of fact.  Jackman won a Tony Award in 2004 for his performance as Peter Allen in the musical “The Boy from Oz.” However, for Craig, having done nothing since the latest James Bond flick is making his Broadway debut.  I am curious to see how this goes for these two super-star on screen actors.  If I ever do make it out to see the play I will make sure that I need to keep my phone off, that’s for sure.