The action star launches a coffee brand to aid Ethiopian farmers

By Anthony Breznican
Updated October 28, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

Hugh Jackman would like to pour you a cup of coffee and, while he’s at it, raise a toast to Paul Newman. The X-Men and Real Steel star recently followed the late Newman’s lead by launching his own brand of coffee, Laughing Man, aimed at doing more than just waking people up each morning. Like Newman’s Own — which has donated more than $300 million since its founding in 1982 — Laughing Man aids coffee-bean farmers in Ethiopia, provides jobs for people managing the business, and supports other charity groups that teach around the world. ”There is a way to conduct business that’s good for everybody. It’s win-win,” Jackman tells EW of Laughing Man, which also sells tea and chocolate. He was inspired after reading Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good, a book written by Newman and his business partner, A.E. Hotchner. ”It tells the great story of how Newman’s Own came to be,” Jackman says. ”He broke all the rules — the way he promoted it, the way he gave back. And I thought, ‘This is a really great way to, uh, exploit your popularity, basically.’ It is shameless exploitation.” Jackman chose coffee for two reasons: One, he was moved by the plight of coffee farmers when he visited Ethiopia as a goodwill ambassador, and two, he drinks the stuff himself. ”[Newman] sold the things he liked,” Jackman says. ”I happen to love coffee. As a consumer, I’m going to have a cup of coffee a day, maybe two, and if I can buy a coffee where the profits are going to charity, and I like that brand, I’m going to choose it.” (Also, those Wolverine claws probably make it easy to open the bag.) Find Hugh’s brew online at