Dakota Goyo from Real Steel {An interview}

I recently had the absolute pleasure of participating in a telephone interview with several other bloggers and Dakota Goyo from the movie Real Steel. The movie opened in theaters yesterday and I have a feeling it will having an amazingly successful first weekend, partially due to the wonderful talent of this young man. First, I have to say that for a twelve year old boy, he’s pleasant, charming, and seemingly very grounded. I’ll bet he has very involved and proud parents. Speaking with him was fun and his answers to our questions were exactly what I’d expect from a boy his age. He answered with sincerity and maturity beyond his years, but also with the contagious excitement only found when you listen to a kid talk about a really fun experience that they’ve just had, only in this case, his experience just happened to be starring in a major motion picture alongside Hugh Jackson and several real robots. I’m pretty sure his cool factor is super high with all of his school pals.

The film’s synopsis: An action ride set in the near-future where the sport of boxing has gone high-tech, “Real Steel” stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback.

After watching the trailer, imagine that young boy arriving home from school, dropping his backpack by the door, and hopping on the phone with us bloggers. If he’s like my thirteen year old son, he probably wants a snack more than anything else when he gets home from school. He was such a good sport to have a conversation with all of us, truly a sweetheart. One of the most impressive things I learned when speaking with him was the fact that he auditioned four times for the role in this film. I might give up after one or two tries, but this young man auditioned four times, showing just how much he loves to act and how much this particular role must have meant to him. He explained the absolute number one thing that drew him to this film was the robots, stating many times during our call, “what kid doesn’t want to work with 9-foot tall functional robots, it’s a kid’s dream!” To that I ask, what adult wouldn’t love to have that experience? Am I right?

What I found very sweet was that while the robots were a big reason he wanted to work on this film, he was also quick to say that another pull for him was the chance to meet and work with Hugh Jackman, “the nicest guy in the universe.” This response truly warmed my heart as I could literally feel the smile on his face through the phone line as he made that statement. He shared with us how he got to spend several weeks with Hugh Jackman just getting to know one another in order to build a nice rapport before they started the filming process. Oh, and that shooting process? That lasted 72 days at more than 9 hours each day. That’s true dedication for such a young actor, but I have a feeling that much of that time felt a lot more like fun than work because as he mentioned, playing working with fully functioning robots is a kid’s dream come true. Indeed it is Dakota, indeed.

It was simply a joy to speak with Dakota and listen to his responses to all of our questions. I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time because as a Mom, I’d be so proud if he were my son. I truly can’t wait to see what the future holds for him as he continues to act and follow his dream of eventually directing a film someday. I have little doubt that he will get there due the commitment and persistence he’s already shown at such a young age. Now I’d just like to share with you the question I asked him, his response, and one more clip from the film just in case you aren’t convinced that you should run out and see it this weekend.

Me: What was your favorite scene to make in the film?

Dakota: When we’re in front of the motel and I’m dancing with Atom and when I’m in the alleyway of Bailey’s gym and wash off Atom and see his name on his chest. (These are quite possibly two of my favorite scenes from the film as well)

That clip gives me goosebumps. I predict this will be a film we all want to watch over and over, again and again.

I’d like to say a special thank-you to Dakota and to Disney and Dreamworks for the wonderful film and for the opporunity to speak with Dakota.


  1. Such a wonderful article. 😉 It was great getting to meet you on the call.
    Shelby Barone recently posted..Interview with Dakota Goyo From Real Steel #RealSteelMy Profile

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