Oh yes, you read that right. I had the opportunity to meet and chat with Hugh Jackman. Swoon… ♥ He’s just as handsome in person as he is on TV and in movies. Even more so!
I have never met Hugh Jackman before. I was always under the impression he was a really nice guy. He just gives off that aura. Come to find out that everyone that worked with him on the movie, Real Steel, had nothing but praise for Hugh. They all thought he was a really nice guy too.
At the press junket we all sat around a massive oval shaped table. Hugh sat two seats over to my right. Ahhh… I was so close to him. 🙂
When Hugh walked in the room I think I saw butterflies and rainbows flying through the air. After all, I’m not the only lady who was in the room who was anxious for the round table interview with Hugh. He happened to be the last interview of the day too.
Hugh was casually dressed in dark jeans, a blue tee shirt and a great big smile.
Someone in the room made a comment about how the others we interviewed had nothing but amazing things to say about him. Hugh replied “…I think your job is to bring people together. Like it’s a team, acting, film making 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.”
Director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum I & II, Date Night…) had three of his four daughters in the film. They were all adorable but his youngest, Charlie, really charmed audiences, especially when she said “Boo-yah” in the film. We learned from Shawn Levy that Charlie had a bit of a crush on Hugh and even wrote him a love letter and referred to him as her boyfriend. Charlie is only four years old. He even called her on her birthday, which I think is sweet and shows what a nice man he truly is.
There were a few bloggers in the room who questioned what age is appropriate for the movie. There is some cursing (although no more then most kids hear at school, sad to say). There are also some intense robot fighting scenes as well as a scene where Hugh Jackman’s character, Charlie, and his son Max (played by Dakota Goyo) get roughed up a bit. Hugh has two children, Oscar (11) and Ava (6), who have both seen the movie.
Hugh told us that he had the script for the movie, Real Steel, for a couple of weeks but he was too busy to read it. Then one day he gets a phone call from his agent who told him that Shawn Levy was flying into NY and wanted to meet with Hugh about the film. So that night instead of reading Tin-Tin to his son Oscar (11) he read the script to Real Steel out loud to him. His son, who normally doesn’t get into his father’s career, was so into the story in the script that he had his father read the script to him every night before he went to bed.
Hugh’s son is a bit sensitive. He doesn’t even like the music to the Harry Potter movies. His daughter Ava, who is 6, is a bit of a firecracker. He knew that she would really get into the movie.
This is what Hugh had to say about his family and the first time they saw the movie Real Steel.
“…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 loved it. It was a really great moment for me, you know, to genuinely have all those three generations loving it.”
Hugh continued, “So there was one funny moment. The moment when Evangeline Lily and I kiss in the movie. And my wife was sitting there. And my wife looked past me. I mean she’s, she’s an actress too. She’s used to it. And so she looked past me to look at Oscar. And Oscar goes, “You’re gonna be in trouble.” (Hugh followed this with a laugh). And I lost it. It was really funny.
As I mentioned before some of the material in the movie might not be suitable for all children. One of the bloggers, who has interviewed Hugh before, mentioned how he wouldn’t let his children see his other movies, especially when he’s playing Wolverine and tearing people up. She asked Hugh about his thoughts about the content of the movie Real Steel and if it’s appropriate for children? Hugh feels that as a parent you just know if something is appropriate for your child or not.
When Hugh was 7 years old Star Wars came out in theaters. He really wanted to see the movie but his father wouldn’t let him because the movie was rated PG-13 and Hugh was not 13. Even though his friends all saw the movie Hugh was not allowed to because his father followed the recommended guidelines.
According to Hugh, “…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.”
For the record he still won’t let his children see him in X-Men.
He did comment on how people will come up to him asking for an autograph, telling him how much their 4-year old loves X-Men.
Both of his children are really into the robots in the movie Real Steel. His son is also into the robot/boy relationship, as I think many young boys will be as well.
Hugh also told us about his father. His father was a champion boxer in the military and continued to box, unbeknown to Hugh and his brother. For all they knew he was just an accountant. The reason why his father never told them about being a boxer is because he was afraid his boys would mimic him and constantly fight with one another. Hugh and his four siblings were raised by their father after his mother left when he was only 8 years old.
Dakota Goyo who plays Hugh’s son Max in the movie is an amazing young actor. All of the people we interviewed prior to Hugh had nothing but great things to say about Dakota. Hugh was no exception.
In the film Hugh Jackman is not about to win the “Father of the Year” award (at leat in the beginning). Playing the part of a father comes naturally to Hugh, so that part he was able to portray realistically. But there are parts in the film where Hugh is a horrible father to Max, something Hugh found tough to do. Here is what he had to say about that.
“…I played a father on screen and I found all the emotions very easy to act… to this day when I see that scene where I say to Dakota “I’m doing the best I can. What do you want from me? ” And he says, “I want you to fight for me. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.” It kind of slays me. I mean just watching that scene and I think what if you actually heard that from your kid. If your kid really believed you weren’t in their corner.
In the movie Hugh Jackman’s character doesn’t want to feel emotions. It was hard for Hugh to do that because as a father it’s hard for him not to be emotionally connected to his child. The character of Charlie in the movie wants to stay turned off because when you open yourself up to life, when you fall in love, when you have children, you are vulnerable. And Charlie doesn’t want to have to feel those things.
Hugh Jackman worked with boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard to learn boxing for the movie Real Steel. The character of Charlie used to be a successful boxer until the sport of boxing shifted from humans to robots. Hugh said worked very hard at the boxing with Sugar Ray Leonard. He felt that is was not only important that he looked like a boxer, but more important you see the emotion come through. Charlie used to box and it was his passion. Now that he’s no longer a boxer that “spark” went missing. In the film there is a part where Charlie has finally got back into the his boxing spirit and that emotion really shined through in the scene, most especially for Max, Charlie’s son, who was seeing his father passionate about something (boxing) for the very first time.
Hugh feels that it’s very important for parents to show their children just how much they enjoy what they do and what they are most passionate about.
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 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?” , even if you earn half of what you earn. They’re gonna prefer that than to have the latest Nikes, you know.
Well… I don’t know about that. My daughter would certainly love to have the latest designer wear. Ha Ha.
Someone posed the question to Hugh asking him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said he first wanted to be an accountant just like his dad. As a young boy he was impressed with his father’s office and the chocolate cookies they had at work. Later when he went on his first plane trip and was served food on the plane he thought it would be fun to be a chef on a plane (he didn’t know the food wasn’t made on the plane).
Hugh was kind enough to take a group picture with us too.
I even got a handshake and a smile from Hugh too! May I never wash my hand again. :-).
I walked away from this interview with a new appreciation for Hugh Jackman. The thoughts I had prior to meeting him about him being a really nice guy were completely true. Hugh Jackman is very like able. The entire time he had a huge smile on his face. Everyone who worked with him on the film raved about him and how wonderful he is. Listening to him talk about his children show just how much of a great dad he is. He is totally opposite of the character he plays in Real Steel (in the beginning at least).
I think now that I have met Hugh and a few other people involved in the movie (those interviews will be posted too!) gave me a new appreciation for the movie. I enjoy hearing all the behind the scenes stories. It adds a new dimension to the film experience. Another words it’s MORE then just a movie on the screen. There are a lot of personal stories involved in the making and promoting of a film.
On a side note, Hugh enjoyed his chat with me and the other bloggers in our group. So much so he posted a picture of our group with him on Twitter. Thanks Hugh! You can follow Hugh on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/RealHughJackman. While you are at it you can also follow Real Steel on Twitter, www.Twitter.com/RealSteelMovie.
Real Steel opens on October 7, 2011. For my movie review please visit this link, https://www.shescribes.com/2011/09/real-steel-packs-a-punch.html.
*I was not compensated for this post. I attended the press junket compliments of Walt Disney Studios. All opinions expressed are my own.