“Tonight is a special night, and I am going to sing one song,” Hugh Jackman said last night at Porter House, following an early screening of Les Miserables attended by Academy members and the Hollywood Foreign Press. “And this is a song I am not going to sing alone, because it is the birthday of Amanda Seyfried.” “Oh my God!” someone cried from the crowd, in a decibel usually reserved for Justin Bieber (Les Miz is the nerd equivalent). “Amanda, get up here,” Jackman commanded the actress, who plays his adopted daughter Cosette in Tom Hooper’s film adaptation. “Now sit down.”
“I once gave Barbara Walters a lap dance and I promised her I would never do it again, but seeing as she is not here tonight … ” the actor said portentously before opening his legs and shimmying across Seyfried’s lap. “Happy Birthday, Amanda — my daughter Cosette — Seyfried,” Jackman crooned into a microphone backed up by a piano player and assembled cast members. “Yes, it’s one of those father daughter relationships … ” the actor said with a sly laugh, running his hand down the tight lavender dress of the embarrassed actress. “Happy birthday to youuuuuuu … ” he drawled (think: Marilyn Monroe meets Australian Chippendale).
Then the actress was presented with chocolate birthday cake, reminding longtime Les Miz enthusiasts that Seyfried, who turns 27 today, was barely walking when producer Cameron Macintosh began talking to director Alan Parker about making this movie 25 years ago. (Now Macintosh just “thanks God” this cast was born.) “I was just thinking that my 27th year is probably going to be best,” Seyfried said after her awkward father-daughter birthday serenade, “because it was brought in in such a way that my hero, Mr. Hugh, got to stretch his cords one more time for me.” It would be an especially good year, we’d imagine, if Academy voters are equally swayed.