It is official, Hugh Jackman has been named 81st Annual Academy Awards' host by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The announcement has been made on Friday, December 12 by producer Laurence Mark and executive producer Bill Condon in a joint statement, "Hugh Jackman is a consummate entertainer and an internationally renowned movie star."
"He also has style, elegance and a sense of occasion," the pair further commented on the positive side of the man who has just been dubbed People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive, stressing, "Hugh is the ideal choice to host a celebration of the year's movies - and to have fun doing it." Of the breaking out from the typical Oscar host with Jackman, Mark reasoned, "We are trying to get away from this late-night talk show rut. It seemed to us that we needed to turn a corner and get somebody who is, imagine that, a movie star."
Previous Oscar shows' hosts have been closely linked to U.S. comedians ranging from Jon Stewart and Ellen DeGeneres to Chris Rock and Billy Crystal. Earlier, it has been rumored that English comedian Ricky Gervais is considered for the part following his hilarious skit during the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Hosting the Academy Awards will be Jackman's first taking the awards' show center stage, though he has been a presenter at previous Oscar ceremony. Nonetheless, being an awards show's M.C. won't be his first experience as he has hosted the Tonys and has won an Emmy in 2005 for his appearance as the host of the awards honoring the excellence in theaters.
The 81st Academy Awards will announce its selections of nominees at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 5:38 A.M. PST. Meanwhile, the gala ceremony honoring the best in film for 2008 will be held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California exactly a month later, on Sunday, February 22, 2009. It will be aired live by ABC Television Network.