Hugh Jackman was once called a "poof" by his brother.

The actor has always shown an interest in dancing as well as acting and singing, but was put off when his sibling teased him by saying performing was only for gay men.

The father-of-two - who is happily married to wife Deborra-lee Furness - explained: "He said to me, 'What are ya - a poof?' I wasn't 100 per cent sure what that was. But I knew it didn't sound like something I should be. And that was it as far as dance. I shut it down. I was just too embarrassed.

"I'm the 10-minute Billy Elliot. 'I wanna dance!' 'You poof.' 'OK, I'll be a miner.' "

His brother apologised for his remarks when Hugh was 18, but the Australian hunk said his dreams of becoming a professional dancer were over as he had been away from it for too long.

He told The Guardian newspaper: "That released something for me. I literally signed up for a tap class the day after he'd said sorry. Of course, I was fully aware I'd left it too late to turn professional."