There is no denying that Hugh Jackman is a cinematic chameleon. One second he’s a razor sharp mutant in X-Men, the next he’s a historical hero in Baz Luhrmann’s Australia. And now the Aussie actor is taking on an entirely different kind of role, playing Charlie Kenton in the new robot boxing flick Real Steel. Jackman spoke exclusively with us at a recent press event and discussed how he got into “fighting” shape.
“I watched Rocky and I watched Raging Bull,” Hugh explained when asked about how he prepared for the film. “They were both very inspiring.”
But keep in mind, Real Steel is far more than just a typical sports movie. Between the ring scenes and animatronic fights, there is a sensitive story about a father and his son. Hugh confessed that it was tender undertones of the script that actually attracted him to the project.
“At its core, this is a relationship drama and it’s a road movie,”Jackman said. “I was really drawn into it and the relationship of the father and the son. Plus, my character Charlie is an all or nothing kind of guy.”
Of course it probably won’t be the sentimental stuff that packs movie audiences into the seats. Real Steel’s true selling points are its charismatic robots and cutting-edge special effects. The lead mechanical fighter (named Atom) pretty much steals the show and develops quite a strong relationship with Hugh’sfictional son.
“The boy in the movie sees Atom as his lifeline,” he said. “That robot represents everything to him. And [the director] Shawn Levy has allowed the audience go along on that journey as well.”
Moviegoers are certain to discover Real Steel robots that they feel most attached to. Atom will definitely attract the sensitive crowd, while characters like Noisy Boy will appeal to techno-geeks and Zeus the hardcore boxing fans.
Jackman was purposely shy when we grilled him about his favorite onscreen robot, but did throw out the name of who his six-year-old daughter loves best.
“My kids are mental about this movie,” Hugh jokingly said. “My daughter loves the robots so much! Her favorite one is most definitely Noisy Boy.”
You can see Jackman, Atom, Zeus, and Noisy Boy rattle things up when Real Steel hits theaters on Friday!
By Michael Lopez