Hugh Jackman Lights Empire State Building for Australia Day

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness

Bryan Smith/Zuma

updated 01/24/2014 AT 4:00 PM ET

originally published 01/24/2014 AT 5:00 PM ET

He has dazzled Broadway with his triple-threat talents for years, and now New York City is giving back to Hugh Jackman.

The Wolverine actor attended a ceremony at the Empire State Building on Friday in honor of Australia Day, his home country’s national holiday. He and wife Deborra-Lee Furness, 58, “flipped the switch” to light a model of the historic landmark green and gold, the official colors of Oz. The actual building will be lit Sunday night.

“It’s not quite Australian weather outside,” Jackman, 45, joked. “[But] we’re going to heat up New York with the Australian colors.”

The Sydney native then led the crowd in an Australian bar chant, shouting, “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!” as the audience bellowed, “Oy! Oy! Oy!”

Jackman and Furness acknowledged the “generosity of Americans” and thanked New Yorkers for welcoming their family. Earlier this month, Jackman announced that he will return to the Great White Way to perform in the play The River.

Still, it doesn’t look like the Jackmans will be ex-pats for long. Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who introduced the couple, called them “two of our most famous exports.”

“But I’m sorry,” she added. “They’re only on loan.”

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