It's been 17 years since Hugh Jackman married Deborra-Lee Furness at St. John's in Toorak, Victoria, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Though they've since adopted two children and relocated to New York City, the actor says he still feels like a newlywed in the August 2013 issue of Good Housekeeping. "From day one, we were best mates," Jackman says of his wife. "We just clicked. We were giggling and laughing -- we just connected."
"Deb is the last one to bed and the first one up in the morning. You know those dolls that, when you lie them down, their eyes close? And as soon as they're vertical, their eyes open? That's Deb," he says of Furness, 57. "It's almost annoying. She has two speeds: Stop and Go. She is always, 'Let's do this, let's do that.' And she is very funny, very quick."
Though their schedules often keep them apart, the spouses agreed many years ago never to spend more than two weeks away from each other. Jackman says it was Furness' idea. "When I'd met her, she'd already done about 20 movies," The Wolverine star explains. "She said, 'It's not that I think you're going to go off with a costar, or vice versa. But people get used to living apart. You get used to handling a problem yourself.'"
Communication is key to the couple, who are parents to son Oscar, 13, and daughter Ava, 8. "We talk about everything all the time," Jackman tells the magazine. "The bedrock of any relationship is to communicate, and Deb and I have always done that, discussing whatever's going on, good or bad."
When it comes to romance, the Les Miserables actor, 44, is big on surprises. "If I bring Deb flowers every Tuesday, yeah, it's nice, but is it romantic?" he asks. When the actor got off early from work in Montreal, "I pretended I was still on set," he recalls. "I called Deb and said, 'I'll be back late tonight.'" Then he appeared hours earlier than she expected. "And she got such a shock. I'd made reservations at our favorite lunch place. It was three hours before the kids finished school, and it was awesome because it was unplanned."
It's important to create moments like that, Jackman says, because with children, "so much of life is about your routine."
Jackman also denies persistent rumors that he's secretly gay in his Good Housekeeping cover story. "I don't really pay attention," he admits. "If someone's going to spend their time saying, 'You're really not 6-foot-2; you're 5-foot-10, I'll tell them once, 'I am 6-foot-2.' Then, whatever you want to believe, it's up to you. Am I going to waste energy going, 'I'm so mad that this person says I'm 5-foot-10?' We really only get mad when there's an element of truth, right?"
This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Hugh Jackman on Deborra-Lee Furness: "From Day One, We Were Best Mates"