10/03/2013 AT 11:15 AM ET
“When my wife met me, she said she was looking for a stockbroker,” the actor tells British Cosmopolitan’s November issue. “So if I want it to be a great night out, I’ll wear a suit – especially Tom Ford – and I’ll start talking about stocks and bonds. Then I know I’m going to get lucky (Just kidding!).”
Jackman, 44, and Furness, 57, have been married since 1996. Looking back, Jackman can hardly believe she chose him on the night they got together – given her other social options.
“I had a dinner party and asked her and 10 others. Her phone rang and it was Mick Jagger, inviting her to a party,” he says. “All I remember is hearing Deb say, ‘I can’t because I’m having dinner with Hugh Jackman.’ I thought she was crazy, as I was an absolute nobody.”
He adds: “I knew she was a keeper, yet I was her worst nightmare. I was a young, 26-year-old new actor; all the wrong things.”
So, what’s the secret to their amazing longevity as a couple?
“I’d say 80 percent of marriage is choosing the right person and, with Deb, I just knew,” the Wolverine star says. “We were really close friends before we got together. But in any marriage there must be some sacrifices. No marriage survives if both people are selfish. Obviously, there has to be a great attraction and love. I ring Deb about 10 times a day.”
Jackman, of course, is a sex symbol – but he claims not to see himself that way at all.
“I still see myself as this skinny long-legged person,” he says. “That body I have is for The Wolverine. I did work on it, but it’s not my natural body, and I get a hard time for it. Deb tells me, ‘Your job, as my husband, is to be fat and chubby, so that no matter what’s going on with me, I look great.’ ”