*By Max Godnick* Everything is political in 2018. Even Hugh Jackman. The Australian star best-known for his superhero and musical roles now stars as former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart in "The Front Runner," a new film about the one-time favorite candidate's [ultimately doomed presidential campaign](https://www.vanityfair.com/news/1987/09/gary-hart-failed-presidential-campaign) in the 1980s. And the story is one that may pale in comparison to what's going on today in Washington. "It's kind of unthinkable," Jackman told Cheddar's Tim Stenovec. "It's a very different world now. People are doing things that seemingly are far greater and seem to get away with it." The Hart scandal was spurred by still-unconfirmed reports that the Senator was having an extramarital affair with Donna Rice, a woman he met on a yacht appropriately named ["Monkey Business"](https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjkyO7l0NbdAhUlheAKHTcOBy8Qjhx6BAgBEAM&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbsnews.com%2Fpictures%2Ffamous-political-sex-scandals%2F9%2F&psig=AOvVaw2sryG0TS60zcTQMozT4wj0&ust=1537981256717944). To many, the story ー first broken by [The Miami Herald](https://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article2155016.html) after a late-night confrontation between Hart and reporters staking out his Washington, D.C., townhouse ー represents the original sin of political reporting, or the moment when politicians' private lives became fair game for the country's most prestigious newspapers. For Oscar-nominated co-writer and director Jason Reitman ("Juno" and "Up in the Air"), the story was enticing enough to inspire his first non-fiction project. "I just couldn't believe it actually happened," he told Cheddar in a separate interview. "In recent memory, this presumed next President of the United States wound up in an alleyway in the middle of the night with a group of journalists, and no one knew what to do, because no one had been in that position before." The film follows what Jackman called "the worst three weeks" of Hart's life and tracks the almost-immediate downfall of a candidate who once seemed all but destined for The White House. Jackman said one thing was absolutely essential during his prep for the role. "I thought it was really important to meet Gary," he said. "I wanted him to know that I took his life and his story and his legacy seriously." The movie comes out, naturally, on Election Day, giving audiences the chance to make a double feature out of the ballot and the box office. But Reitman insisted he does not want the film to sway citizens ー he hopes it simply encourages them to vote in the first place. "'The Front Runner' is not a movie with heroes or villains," he said. "This is not a movie that tells people what to think." Jackman's turn as Hart has some wondering if the actor has political aspirations of his own. Matt Bai, the journalist and screenwriter whose book "All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid" inspired the film, said the actor could run for office and that he's "rarely met a politician with Jackman's political skill." But the star said he's not cut out for a life on the campaign trail. "I'm a little thin-skinned," Jackman said, explaining that recent midterm campaign ads had him conjuring up images of a day when Brad Pitt might take out a commercial against him and start "hammering me for what I've done" at past awards shows and red carpets. Jackman acknowledged that the lives of actors and politicians do share certain similarities, but rest assured, Wolverine fans, he's in no rush to trade places. "There is a way to be an actor and remain private," he said. "There isn't as a politician." For full interview [click here](https://cheddar.com/videos/hugh-jackman-the-front-runner-and-the-scandal-that-changed-politics).

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