The true star of Real Steel is not Hugh Jackman or the astounding robots that inhabit the world of director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum). It is Dakota Goyo, who plays Jackman’s estranged son, who steals the show. He manages to capture more in an expression than a hundred actors that immediately come to mind. Goyo has phoned Movie Fanatic to exclusively talk about his entire Real Steel experience and what’s next for a future talent to keep an eye on as the years pass.
Goyo was quite the humble 'tween and his blissful glow from the entire Real Steel experience is irresistible. Audiences might recognize Goyo, as he played young Thor to Chris Hemsworth’s adult in Thor and the talented thespian, in our opinion, is simply getting going with his knockout work on Real Steel.
Movie Fanatic: What sticks out in your mind from the making of Real Steel?
Dakota Goyo: As soon as I finished filming Real Steel, it hit me: I just made a Steven Spielberg movie with Hugh Jackman and robots! It’s been an experience I never thought I could accomplish. Also, just getting that experience of working with that great script written by John Gatins, he’s such an amazing writer. I hope he continues to write because he’s an absolute talent.
Movie Fanatic: What was it like working with Hugh? We did a Hugh Jackman interview last week and he could not say enough about you.
Dakota Goyo: Working with Hugh, it’s an incredible feeling. It’s amazing and incredibly cool to work with Wolverine. He’s Wolverine! Because it’s Hugh Jackman, it was nice to see he is such a nice guy. He’s so positive and energetic. Getting to work with him was an unbelievably amazing experience.
Movie Fanatic: I understand it wasn’t just computer generated robots. There were real robots on the set. Was that impressive for you to witness?
Dakota Goyo: It took about four days of being on the set until I first saw them. But when I saw the four robots just standing there, nine feet tall, it’s incredible. Getting to see real robots with their heads and hands really moving, they light up, it blew me away.
Movie Fanatic: What did you most enjoy about the story of Real Steel?
Dakota Goyo: I liked how the father and son come together. Max and Charlie, they get along so good at the end. At the beginning, they hate each other. Max is sad. His mother had died. Charlie is almost just like a robot, because he has been around them for so long. There’s no connection with Max.
Movie Fanatic: Of course the key to any actor’s joy is the director. What did you take away from Shawn Levy?
Dakota Goyo: He’s really energetic. When you’re with him, you get energetic. He’s so positive and encouraging. Getting to work with the guy who directed Night at the Museum, for me, was a thrill.
Movie Fanatic: Evangeline Lilly, you have many scenes with her. Were you a fan of Lost and did she come off as motherly as she does in the film in real life?
Dakota Goyo: We had a real chemistry, we got along great. She’s such a sweet girl. She’s so pretty. Having to work with her, she was on Lost, like you said, and I’m a huge fan. Me and my brother have watched and re-watched every single scene in that show. When I saw her in real life, I was taken aback. It was incredible.
Movie Fanatic: The Los Angeles premiere for Real Steel was crazy. For you as a young actor, what was all that attention like?
Dakota Goyo: I have been to many premieres, but the Los Angeles premiere was crazy. I went to the London one, it was big -- lots of media and I saw Atom the robot for the first time since filming, so it was fun. Then, we went to Toronto, which was not too big, but nice because I had a lot of family and friends come because that’s where I’m from. So, it was nice to see the movie with all of them. But, when we got to L.A., there was a huge crowd, thousands of people. It was incredible. There were flashes everywhere. I mean, my eyes were still seeing flashes when I was watching the movie [laughs] -- people were screaming, my ears were ringing. There were also a lot of Disney stars that I see on TV all the time, so I got to meet some really cool people that I look up to and really adore.
Movie Fanatic: What do you have coming up?
Dakota Goyo: I have a DreamWorks Animation film called Rise of the Guardian, that’s up next. I can’t wait for people to see it.
Movie Fanatic: There was a lot of talk that everyone in Real Steel would love to come back for a sequel. I bet you hope that is the case too.
Dakota Goyo: I really do hope there’s a sequel. It’s going to be such a great experience to work with everyone again. I also look forward to being older and seeing onscreen how much I’ve grown from the first one. I really hope it happens.