Hugh Jackman's role of a lifetime

Scott Pelley profiles the Australian actor who now says he's doing the "role of a lifetime" as Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables"

Hugh Jackman: You get an emotional truth. For example, there's one song and it's, literally, written like this: "What have I done, sweet Jesus? What have I done? Become a thief in the night, become a dog on the run. Have I fallen so far and is the hour so late that nothing remains but the cry of my hate?" That's how it's written. Now, I could "What have I done, sweet Jesus? What have I done? Become a thief in the night, become a dog on the run. Have I fallen so far and is the hour so late that nothing remains but the cry of my hate?" I could mix it up, I could take a pause. If I was emotional, I could be emotional.

[Jackman in "Les Miserables": I am reaching, but I fall and the night is closing in as I stare into the void to the whirlpool of my sin I'll escape now from that world from the world of Jean Valjean. Jean Valjean is nothing now, another story must begin!]

The story of Hugh Jackman must begin in Australia. His parents sailed from England into Sydney Harbor in the 1960s. Hugh was the youngest of five, born to an accountant and a housewife. They were all together until one morning, when he was eight. And his mom did something that would shape his life.

Hugh Jackman: I can remember the morning she left. It's weird the things you pick up. I remember her being in a towel around her head and saying goodbye. Must have been the way she said goodbye as I went off to school. When I came back, there was no one there, in the house. And the next day was a telegram from England. Mum was there and then that was it.

Scott Pelley: She had left the family?

Hugh Jackman: Yeah. I don't think she thought for a second it would be forever when she went. I think she thought it was, "I just need to get away, and I'll come back." Dad used to pray every night that mum would come back.

Scott Pelley: Did you ever worry that the family would just come apart? That your dad would go too?

Hugh Jackman: Never, in a million years, could I imagine, my father is a rock. My father is my rock. It's where I learned everything about loyalty, dependability, about being there day-in, day-out, no matter what.

Jackman would see his mother about once a year. Alone, Chris Jackman raised three boys and two girls. He scraped together private school tuition. And the boys went to Knox Grammar School, the conservative alma mater of Australian CEOs and prime ministers. Hugh wanted us to see the place that set him on his course.

Hugh Jackman: This is the headmaster-- or was the headmaster's office. This is the no cursing area just so you know.

Scott Pelley: You didn't spend any time in the headmaster's office, did you?

Hugh Jackman: I'll tell you a story, I was the captain of the school. I don't know if you have that kind of title. So--

Scott Pelley: It's like class president.

Hugh Jackman: Right, so the headmaster brought me in. "I want you to be class president." And I was like, "Wow, fantastic, great." And I went back to class, was mucking around in class. And the teacher said, "Go straight to the headmaster's office." I was like, "This is gonna be really awkward." 'Cause--

Scott Pelley: "I just came from there."