Before Real Steel came out, I was excited to see a fun movie starring Hugh Jackman. But when I first saw Real Steel, I was blown away by two things.
The first were the amazing CGI effects of the robots. I could have sworn that they were real. The second was child actor Dakota Goyo.
Dakota Goyo is only 12 years old, but he has been acting since he was 5 years old. There was a nationwide search to find a child actor for the movie Real Steel and the part went to Dakota. After you see the movie, you know they made the right choice! He shows so much emotion in each scene! He made me smile, laugh and cry in a span of 2 hours!
I was able to participate in a group interview yesterday with Dakota over the phone. He’s not participating in many interviews (can you imagine how intimidating that would be for a 12 year old?) but they must figure us mom bloggers would be the perfect interviewers!
We were able to ask Dakota a few questions about Real Steel and life outside of acting. What really struck me is how down to earth he is and how much he is still a kid!
When asked if he is a gamer like his character Max is in the film, Dakota said he is! He said one of his favorite games to play is UFC Undisputed.
You’ll notice when you see the film that there are same great dancing scenes. Dakota was asked if he danced before the movie, but he said no, he had a great choreographer who taught him how to dance.
When asked what his classmates thought of him acting, he said that he wants his friends and classmates to think of him as Dakota Goyo and he likes that he can just be himself. When in school, his favorite class is Science. He likes the labs that they are doing and the fact that they go outside.
Dakota saw the movie twice before it was finished but when he finally saw it for the 3rd time and it was finished with all of the CGI robots in it, he thought they did such a great job.
When asked if he liked working with Hugh Jaackman or Atom the robot better, he said he couldn’t choose. He just couldn’t believe the fact that he was working with both Wolverine and real, live robots!
When I was in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, we also had the chance to ask Hugh Jackman and Director Shawn Levy what they thought of working with Dakota.
Director Shawn Levy says:
I cast Dakota because he had something other than, more than acting talent, because I knew that, even if Hugh and I did everything right on this movie, the movie could not be great if the boy wasn’t great. And so I needed a kid who could act. I needed a kid who could be authentic. And, like, that thing that Ricky Schroeder had in ‘The Champ’, where that face just kind of shatters you. Or, or, you know, Elliot had in ‘ET’, or Justin Henry had in ‘Kramer vs Kramer’.
When I met Dakota, and I saw Dakota with Hugh, it was, he was good at the lines, but it was what he did when he wasn’t talking that felt authentic. His face, that’s why I improvised that line when Hugh says, are you kidding me with those eyes? Because every day I would watch this movie and go, are you kidding me with… Like, come on! I would say to his mom all the time, like, how do you ever say no to this boy?
Hugh Jackman has the reputation of being a great, hands-on Dad. We asked him if it was difficult to change that on screen:
Shawn had to keep prodding both me and Dakota. ‘Cause Dakota is a very well-brought up, polite boy like, “Hi, Mr. Jackman. It’s a great honor to be in a movie with you.” It was cute, but I’m like, “We’re gonna have to break this down.” So I was playing practical jokes on him. And — and I had to be mean to him and Shawn encouraged me to go for it.
Dakota was a pleasure to talk to and I guarantee you will see him in many years to come.
Make sure to go see Real Steel, in theaters Friday, October 7th!