A couple of weeks ago, there was a contest held for one special fan to talk to Hugh Jackman as part of the Real Steel press run. A woman named Rena Jenkins won and conducted a great, informative interview that’s now online. There’s standard fare about the film and Hugh’s boxing lessons, plus some bonus facts like his opinion on hip-hop (especially the artist, Eminem), playing pranks on set, and what’s next on his bucket list. Check out an excerpt below before heading to the source, where you can also drop off a comment congratulating her on the win and successful interview. It’s also been added to the press archive (which now has a brand new layout!).
During the filming of Real Steel I heard that you and director Shawn Levy went to an Eminem concert. There’s an Eminem song in the movie, and played in the trailer for Real Steel. Can we assume that you two are big fans of his?
I think Eminem is extraordinary, and one of the greatest live acts I’ve ever seen. I’m a real fan of live music, but if I go to a concert and I feel that I’m just getting their CD, basically, played for me, it bores me. I would prefer to just listen to it. But he, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre: It was one of the most electrifying nights I’ve ever been a part of. I was actually ushered to this area and I went behind the stage and just watching Dr. Dre get ready to go onstage, it was kind of like watching a prizefighter getting ready for a big fight. There’s just so much that they put in to every song. And Eminem, he’s just, oh my God, he’s just the consummate performer. A professional. And everything comes from an honest place. Comes from his heart. That’s what I like about him.
Were there any practical jokes played on you during the filming?
I played a few on Dakota. He was saying to me the other day that he played one on me, but I can’t remember it, so it can’t have been that good. I can’t think of any offhand … But I’ve heard, don’t do a film with Mel Gibson. He is the king. He is the king of practical jokes.
I had not heard that. I had heard Brad Pitt and some other guys. Why is it always guys playing the practical jokes?
Because we’re just little boys, basically. We never grow up. And in an actor that’s allowed [laughs].
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Here’s a cute and fun new video featuring Hugh Jackman and MTV’s “After Hours” host, Josh Horowitz. Hugh is tested on whether or not he’s a true New Yorker, after having lived in the city for quite some time now. He names the “Sex and the City” girls (sort of), guesses what neighborhood Spider-Man lives in, does his best Woody Allen impersonation, and talks about his favorite Central Park treat.
HuffPo has released a new interview with Hugh Jackman, in which he discusses his big three movies that have been circulating in the press lately: Real Steel, Les Miserables, and The Wolverine. In this new press piece, he talks about working alongside life-size robots, the comparison between Wolverine and Charlie [Kenton], and more details on Les Mis (he confirms that he’s not yet positive whether or not Anne Hathaway will be in the picture). Check out an excerpt below and then hop over to the source to read more. It’s also been added to the press archive.
What was it like to have such massive, digital co-stars?
For my particular character, he was an ex-boxer, so the only game he knows is boxing, but the only boxing game is robots, so he’s doing it, but at the same time, he kind of hates it. It’s the very thing that took away what he loves and his livelihood I suppose, and he’s doing a pretty bad job of it. Somehow, his weird belief in these robots mirrors his return to believing in himself. I like that line where I’m talking to the robot and the kid sort of echoes my line, he says, ‘You know you’re talking to a robot, right?’ It’s a sort of great moment, because we had four, nine-foot animated, animatronic robots that we were working with. And the guys that controlled them with joysticks actually built them, but they’re really more like puppeteers than anything. You cannot talk to them while they have their hand on that joystick, they’re fully in that mode. If you watch the background of a movie, you’ll see them interacting, the robots’ heads are moving responding to conversations, they really did an amazing job.
Because you think of the robots as humans, it’s almost cruel to run them through these terrible fights.
Yeah, you’re right. It’s funny because my kids kept saying, ‘Is he alright? Is Adam going to be okay?’ He gets so pounded, and the design of those robots I think is ingenius, the way they did the scars on the front of their face plates, it looks faintly like maybe a mouth, and those eyes seem to have a soul to them. I know what you mean, I really kind of feel for that robot. When we tested the movie, it tested kind of through the roof. There’s three sort of main characters; there’s me, there’s Max and there’s Atom. And all three, including the robot, scored kind of in the same region. People really liked the robot.
You’re pretty good at playing a chip-on-the shoulder, angry guy. You’ve done that before; was it attractive to reprise?
This one I thought had more charm to him. He’s a bit of a hustler, he’s down and out, but he’s desperately trying to get himself out of that situation. So even though on one level, he’s sort of resigned to life, he’s always trying to hustle and move, and it felt different to me. I’ve never played a father, as well. And look, it’s a Dreamworks movie, it’s distributed on a worldwide level under Disney, and I sell my kid in the first 10 minutes of the movie; it’s not what you’d expect. And yet we still needed to make the audience be with me at the end, so that was the goal. So it was a real challenge.
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Many fans have been wondering about the fate of Unbound Captives, but finally a media source – MTV – has managed to ask Hugh Jackman a question on the project. He confirms that he’s still attached and that the movie has one of the best scripts he’s read in a long time, written by Madeleine Stowe. Unfortunately, he said that Hollywood has a hard time with westerns, so it’s not an easy sell. Check out the interview above.
Another new article, this one from The Irish Times. More standard information on Real Steel, along with Hugh’s Shakespearean aspirations in the future and the fear of not getting job offers. He also talks about the early days of getting noticed by photographers, at around at 30, and being prepared for it. If the excerpt below piques your interest, head over to the source to read more. It’s also been added to the press archive.
Minutes before I trip in to meet Hugh Jackman, I click on the website for Variety magazine. There he is on the home page. The venerable trade paper has announced that the suave Australian is to appear in a one-man show on Broadway. He’ll be singing, joking and hoofing. How quaint. You can’t quite imagine Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt shimmying their way through standards from Oklahoma or Paint Your Wagon. But Jackman, now 42, really is a very old-fashioned class of star.
“Oh mate, it is like the ultimate indulgence,” he says after pumping my hand warmly. “I can’t believe I am doing it. I have an 18-piece orchestra to play my favourite songs. I am really excited.”
Jackman displayed his musical theatre skills in 2009 when he won acclaim for his turn as host of the Oscars. It was a revealing performance. Nothing about it suggested we were looking at a man who cared about being cool. He looked gruffly charismatic as Wolverine in the X-Men films. He held his own against Nicole Kidman in Australia. But his main job is as (tad da!) an entertainer.
“I’m the youngest from a family of six,” he muses. “Mum always said, ‘You don’t have to stand on a chair to be noticed.’ I remember talking to John Travolta about this. He’s the youngest of five, and it is statistically incredible how many people in show biz are the youngest from multiple-kid families. You are used to people looking at you.”
If you can’t make it to Broadway, you can enjoy a rather more muscular incarnation of Jackman in an upcoming film entitled Real Steel. Shawn Levy’s drama, based on a story by Richard Matheson, is surprisingly diverting for a film about boxing robots. The picture, a shameless amalgam of The Champ and Rocky, finds Jackman playing impresario to the little cyborg that could.
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