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Hugh Jackman Turns Honor Into Quickie Date Night

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Apr. 14 2011, Published 4:15 a.m. ET

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Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-Lee pop into the Fresh From The Garden Gala to benefit HealthCorps Wednesday for 35 minutes to accept an accolade. Why? Their kids are waiting at home!

For the couple who celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary earlier this week, staying together means meeting each other’s needs.

“It probably helps that we met before we went to Hollywood, and we’re never away from each other for more than two weeks,” the Aussie actor, 42, says inside the gala held at Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in NYC. “And we make each other a priority.”

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He’s also mindful of not sharing embarrassing tidbits about his family, which includes son Oscar, 10, and daughter Ava, 5.

He stops himself just as he’s about to tell me a funny story about his little ones.

“Well, my daughter was talking … actually, no, I can’t tell that one.”

Staying in shape is a top priority for Hugh.

“I probably work out harder than I would now because it's an occupational hazard, but even outside of that, I still am healthy and active and I try to teach that to my kids.”

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Fitness tips?

“I think you should pick something that you enjoy, because there's always going to be a time when you don't want to get out of bed, but if it's something you enjoy doing, you're going to have that much more of a chance.”

Hugh and Deborra-Lee scoot through the venue to the table he shares with event host Dr. Oz and wife Lisa Oz. He joins his wife onstage to accept the award.

“It’s a great honor to be here,” he tells the crowd. “When I asked my wife what I should say tonight, she was enormously helpful because she said ‘why don’t you use that Oscar acceptance speech you’re carrying around?’”

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He continues, “We talked about why I was being honored, and she said ‘it’s because you did incredible work with the hospitals for children around the world, but mainly because Wolverine can heal himself.’”

Then, he turns serious.

“It’s true, we are very honored to accept this award,” he says. “It’s also helpful to have a mission that I believe in passionately to support, help nutrition, empower change around the country to make better choices, and also help make America greener and make the world greener.”

Time to bolt!

HealthCorps fights child obesity.

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