WRITTEN BY MATTHEW PEJKOVIC
Hugh Jackman braved the wet weather and talked to media and fans at the Sydney premiere of Real Steel.
A sci-fi action movie directed by Shawn Levy (Date Night) and executive produced by Steven Spielberg (War of the Worlds) and Robert Zemeckis (Beowulf), Real Steel stars Jackman as a washed up boxer turned robot boxing promoter who reconciles with his estranged son (Dakota Goyo) while taking their underdog fighting bot to the top.
The film successfully blends blockbuster spectacular with heartfelt drama, an achievement which Jackman is especially proud of. “It’s always tempting in a big Hollywood movie just to overwhelm the audience with visuals and special effects and wow the audience”, said Jackman. “I think we have great restraint. Spielberg over saw the movie, and Shawn was adamant about having people brought in to the world feeling like this could exist and they could be a part of it. He was adamant that was going to be vital, that people would care and root for those robots rather than feeling ‘Whoa! They’re massive. They’re 800 feet tall’. So I think it took a lot of discipline to stick to that.”
Apparent is the influence of Sylvester Stallone, with his underdog films Rocky and Over the Top felt throughout Real Steel. When Jackman was asked if he was a fan of Stallone, the Australian actor happily admitted his love for all things Sly. “Huge. Come on..I watched them all!” said Jackman. “Even the ones the critics hated, I loved them. Ivan Drago, Clubber Lang…I loved them all.”
The release of Real Steel marks the beginning of an eclectic year for Jackman. Next he will take his one man show to Broadway, trade vocal punches as Jean Valjean against Russell Crowe’s Inspector Javert in the musical adaptation of Les Miserables, and then film the long awaited Wolverine sequel with director James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma).
Starring in Les Miserables with fellow Aussie Crowe is of particular interest, since it will mark the first time these two powerhouse actors will collaborate in film. “It’s gonna be great!” said Jackman. “The strength of that movie is the battle between these two adversaries over 19 years, so it’s gonna be fun to be in there with him.”
Real Steel will be released on the 6th of October through Walt Disney Pictures.