Hugh Jackman sang a sexy and sultry rendition of Happy Birthday to Amanda Seyfried, and then he gave her a lap dance.
Seyfried’s impromptu 27th-birthday gift took place Sunday night at a private soirée at Porter House in Manhattan, following an invite-only screening of Les Misérables. Before his gyrations, Jackman thanked Universal and gave a shout out to The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper.
“You have no business two months after winning an Oscar of doing a movie like this,” he said. “You’re meant to take an easy one, not a movie musical.”
Then Jackman said, “Tonight is a special night, and I am going to sing one song.” Everyone in the room hushed. Female guests — and some male guests, too — squealed and oohed and aahed as they rushed over to Jackman, or as close as they could get without being tackled by security.
“It is the birthday of Amanda Seyfried. Amanda, come up here,” Jackman commanded his Les Miz co-star, who plays his adopted daughter Cosette. “Sit here Amanda,” Jackman said in sultry, silken tones. “I once gave Barbara Walters a lap dance, and I promised her I would never do that again, but seeing that she’s not here tonight…”
The piano chords began to play, and while Seyfried sat in a chair, Jackman lowered himself down and half straddled her. “She’s very innocent this girl,” he said of the almond-eyed actress, who seemed delighted, but not at all shy.
“Amanda … Cosette … Yes, it’s one of those father-daughter relationships,” Jackman purred.
Les Miz co-stars Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Sacha Baron Cohen, director Tom Hooper, producer Cameron Mackintosh and lyricist Alain Boublil clapped and cheered, especially during the lap dance.
Other mega-watt celebrity guests who hooted and hollered included Lorraine Bracco, Tony Danza, Michael Kors, Anna Wintour and Chelsea Clinton.
After Jackman’s birthday song, Seyfried moved out of the spotlight and into a quiet corner. I wished her Happy Birthday. “Thanks,” she said. “Well almost.” It’s in two and a half hours.”
She told me she was delighted and pleased, but not surprised by Jackman’s gesture. “Hugh’s such a good guy. Nothing really surprises me. I really appreciate him singing one last song.”
Hathaway, who looked beautiful in a navy, backless The Row gown, is still thin after taking off 25 pounds to play Fantine, but told me wants to put the weight back on. “It’s hard because I’m a vegan,” she said. “But I agree,” she told me, when I said she looked thin.
Around midnight, we saw Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman say their goodbyes.
I congratulated Jackman on Les Miz and told him I’d seen the film twice. “That’s more than I have,” he laughed.
Although I’d heard him sing on Broadway in The Boy From Oz, his voice is even more beautiful and lush in a small room with the simple accompaniment of a piano.
Director Tom Hooper has been on a non-stop blitz of appearances and junkets to promote his film. He’d just arrived from the Governors Ball in Los Angeles that took place on Saturday, and he looked a little weary. The charming director told me the most challenging thing about making a musical is that, “you’re embracing an alternate reality where people communicate through song, and you need to make it utterly convincing.”
He also said he hoped the movie inspired audiences to “think about some of the bigger issues it talks about, the suffering around the world, but also close to their hearts, parental love and personal transformation and redemption and hope.”