In honor of DreamWorks Pictures REAL STEEL being released to theaters today (October 7th), I decided to share a series of interviews with you that I call The Men of REAL STEEL.
Hopefully you have had a chance to read the first interview, featuring Director Shawn Levy, my second interview with boxing guru and consultant Sugar Ray Leonard, and my third post about the talented and very funny Anthony Mackie.
(from left to right) Director Shawn Levy, Boxing guru Sugar Ray Leonard, Actor Anthony Mackie, Actor Hugh Jackman.
My final post in this series is an interview with the charming, talented, gorgeous, and super dad Hugh Jackman who plays Charlie Kenton in the movie!
Hugh Jackman(Charlie Kenton):
First off, it must be said. Everything you have heard about Hugh Jackman is ALL TRUE!
I can tell you I definitely blew away my Brita Challenge goal for water consumption that day due to sheer nervous energy and excitement.
Being a fan of his, I was nervous about being let down after meeting him in person.
This DID NOT happen.
He is just as cool as you think he would be, and humble to boot.
And even more good looking in person! That man is so fit and handsome, and he has a smile to melt anyone!
Having just finished with the Anthony Mackie interview, where we were all laughing throughout, Hugh’s interview was very different.
I think because Hugh is such a wonderful story teller, everyone was sitting back and being quiet listening to what he had to say. So, I think the best way to share this interview is to share some of the stories he told us.
I loved the way he talked about working on the set with other actors, how he read the script to his son as a goodnight story, how he answered the question of is 6 too young for Real Steel, and his worry about playing a ‘crap’ father in the movie.
That is what I am going to share with you here.
There a HINTS at plot spoilers in this interview. I personally don’t think it will ruin anything for anyone, but I wanted to put that out there just in case.
Q. Everybody that’s been in the room has just had amazing things to say about you. (The writers, Shawn Levy, Anthony Mackie, and Sugar Ray Leonard.) Is that important to you — your reputation with your crew?
Hugh Jackman: Yeah. I think it — I think it — that’s a good question. (Flashing that huge smile of his) It probably is. I think in a way the leader of the film is the director, alright. But I come up with a little bit of the old school like if the actor’s gonna be snobby or and that filters around everybody — I don’t know. I think your job is to bring people together. Like it’s a team — acting, filmmaking is the definitely of a team effort. So if you can’t be that kind of guy that enjoys being around other people, then don’t turn out. Like don’t be in the film, you know.
Q. Have your kids seen the movie yet?
Hugh Jackman: They — oh my gosh. So I have an eleven year old boy and a six year old — I’m gonna take you back a little ’cause when I read the script, I — I’m not proud of this moment. But I had the script for three days. And I was busy. You know, what it’s like. Leave home. So you get it and dad’s. And so I was busy and then my agent rang and said, “Shawn’s actually flying into New York for another thing and wants to meet with you in the morning for breakfast to discuss the script.” And I was like, “No problem.” And I was just about to read to my son. He loves Tin-Tin. He goes, “Dad, can we read Tin-Tin?” And I said, “Oh, how about we read this real steel story.
It’s called “Real Steel” about robots. And he was like, “Really?” So I said, “Well I’ll read a few pages.” And he goes, “Alright.” So my son always draws while I read. So I’m reading. I’m getting into the script and I went, oh, Oscar.
And I looked up. He’s like, “Go on, go on, go on, go on.” Like he was so into it. And then he made me read the script to him every night for like ten night — at least ten nights in a row. And he goes, “You keep reading more. Read more. And then can we get back to the beginning.”
He loved this script. And he sat next to me in the film. And it’s the first time I’ve ever taken my kids to a film, right ’cause none of my films have really been applicable I thought for them.
And, uh, so he was there. My daughter who’s only six I just knew she would love it. My daughter — I’m giving you background here. But my daughter since she was two if we drive — if you played soft rock, she’s be like, “Uhhhh,” (bored). But the moment you put on heavy metal she was like literally like this. (Hugh starts head-banging and rocking out.)
She’s a smart girl, right?
So I thought, “She’s gonna love this movie.” I knew it. So she [Hugh laughs] I said to her, “Are you enjoying it?” And she goes, “YEAH”.
I said, “Really? What about Atom (the robot)?” And she goes, “No, I love Atom.” And she says, “Because he understands Dakota.”
So anyway, yes, is the very long answer to that. And they loved it.
And I saw the movie with my mother in law who’s 75 and my wife and my two kids. And all of them were cheering and they were like crying and they just — they just loved it.
Do you see what I mean by Hugh being a story teller? I think we could have listened to him talk on for hours. I know I could have.
Q. Did you think that for your six year old this movie was appropriate because I also have a six year old and I wouldn’t let him see it. He’s a boy.
Hugh Jackman: I understand that. Like my son to this day is terrified to “Harry Potter”, right? He’s very sensitive, like I just know for him I wouldn’t let him see it.
My daughter was shown “Harry Potter” by a babysitter. Like I came home and a babysitter had shown it. I was like, “You kidding? Harry Potter.”
And my daughter’s like, “I love Harry Potter!”
I think as a parent and all parents know — I mean I had a father who would if it’s PG-13, you could watch that movie when you turned 13.
I was the only kid not to see “Star Wars”. Until I was 13.
That movie came out when I was seven. I saw that movie like six years later. And I would beg my father. And he goes, “No. 13. 13.” I, uh, my friends had birthday parties where they all went to see “Star Wars”. And I couldn’t go.
So and I was like right from then I was like I think you have to take it on a movie by movie basis. I think you have to really look at it. And you just have to do as a parent what you feel comfortable with.
Q. Where you more intimidated with the father/son aspect or the boxing and getting in shape?
Hugh Jackman: The father/son. Yeah. You know, I’ve done a lot of action movies. And if you think about it in this movie, uh, it’s an action movie I suppose on one level where I don’t really do any action.
Although I love that last scene. And I worked very hard at the boxing with Sugar Ray Leonard and with his — not only was it important that I looked like a boxer, but more important you see the emotion come through. You see someone — I love that moment of Dakota looking at his father coming to life.
You know, and I’ve had a couple of friends who back in Australia they’re like, “Oh, you know, I really wanna do x-y-z. But I got the mortgage to pay and I’ve got this. And I — I hate what I do, but I need to kinda do that.” And I’m like, “Look. Sure, you’ve gotta put food on the table for your kid. You gotta pay the mortgage. We understand that. But what greater gift can you give to your kid then showing them that you love what you do?” Is there anything more valuable, even if you earn half of what you earn?
Your kid is gonna — that’s way better to show your kid. They’re gonna prefer that than to have the latest Nikes, you know.
So I love that scene where you see someone thinking it’s over, right. And he loves boxing. No one’s interested. It’s over. Coming to life again. Like it’s like a rebirth. You know, so that was — scene was really important to me.
But overall the father and son and how do we — I mean this movie — I mean it’s a Dreamworks movie. It’s distributed by Disney and he sells his son in the first ten minutes.
Whoa. This is — this is not gonna be easy, you know. I wonder how this is gonna work. So you have to take him this far. In order to redeem him. But how? You just don’t wanna go over the edge where audiences go, “You know what? I’m checked out. I hate this guy and I’m never gonna like him.” You know.
I can’t tell you how much of a dream come true this interview was for me. I have been a pretty big Hugh Jackman fan for many years now. I was thrilled to meet him in person, and like I mentioned, he did not disappoint. He took the time to shake everyone’s hands post interview and was an all around genuine and awesome person.
Disclosure: Disney/DreamWorks provided me with an all expenses paid trip to LA for an advance screening of Real Steel. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I am in no way obligated to provide positive reviews.
Thank you Louise of MomStart.com for taking such awesome pictures.
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