Australia star Hugh Jackman has owned up to being the first person to suffer the effects of the heat of the Outback on the set of his new film.

Despite his macho image - and that of the burly cowhand he plays in the film - the 40-year-old actor admitted that while co-star Nicole Kidman collapsed during production, he was "the first to faint".

"It was unfortunately on the first day of filming on location, which was not the most macho way to start, particularly when we were filming in the Outback and there were many of the 'real deal' out there," he told a press conference ahead of the release of the Baz Luhrmann film.

"It was incredibly hot and it was a massive wide shot of all the cattle as they come into Darwin," he continued.

"I was waiting on my horse ready to go and about half an hour later, I asked if we were going to shoot, because I was getting pretty hot, in a woollen shirt, leather pants, an all-weather jacket with lining in it and a horse that got particularly spooked by umbrellas."

The X-Men cast member said he was told to wait for five minutes only to receive a shock nearly an hour later.

"I felt a hand in my back and said: 'What are you doing?' And the reply came: 'What am I doing mate? What are you doing? You're at a 45 degree angle on a horse!'" he explained.

"Some extra was holding me up on the horse!

"I learnt that when somebody says Baz will be ready in five minutes, you've got time to eat lunch and start shooting in about an hour."

The epic film sees Jackman as an old-fashioned cattle drover who enters the life of an English heiress (Nicole Kidman) when he is enlisted to help her protect her Northern Territory ranch from being taken over.

Australia is released on Boxing Day.

22/12/2008 01:01:01