If you were born sometime after 1964 you might have played the Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots toy. Two different coloured robots battle it out in a boxing ring with the users in charge of their moves by pressing buttons.That concept is brought to life in Hugh Jackman's latest film Real Steel, which is also based on Richard Matheson's 1956 short story Steel. Sounds basic? It isn't, not according to the Australian star.
``There's more to it than people expect,'' says Jackman.
``When I read the script there was certainly more to it than what I thought when I first heard about the movie.
``Hollywood can be blamed for overhyping, so it's nice to surprise people.''
Jackman plays washed up boxer Charlie Kenton in a future where massive humanoid robots have replaced humans in the ring. Although Jackman doesn't duke it out with a Transformer in the movie, sorry boys, he did prepare for the role by training with boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard.
``He's the nicest guy,'' says Jackman of now good friend Leonard.
``He's so open, so giving and he gave me a lot for this film.
``We talked a lot about the psyche of a boxer.
``The difference with Charlie is he's the kind of person who has given up on himself.
``He's switched off inside.
``He doesn't want to participate in life because everything's too painful.''The one-on-one coaching with Leonard meant Jackman was once again in incredible physcial shape for the film. While that's great news for the ladies, he says not everyone loves his buff frame - wife Deborra-Lee Furness in particular.
``Sometimes she wishes I was more out of shape,'' he says.
``My job as a husband is to make the wife look good and she's like `enough of this Wolverine business.''
Once you look past the flashy robots and big budget special effects, at Real Steel's core is a story father and son narrative. After the unexpected death of his former partner, Charlie agrees to take on his now orphaned son - for a price - and together they rebuild heir relationship after they find a boxer on the scrap heap who becomes a million-to-one shot Rockybot. For someone who puts his family above everything, Jackman says it was ``definitely more fun'' to play the very flawed Charlie.
``Most actors love to play a good guy that's actually not that nice,'' he says.
``But hopefully I'm a better father off screen than on screen.''
Maintaining a normal family life in Hollywood would seem impossible to most, but Jackman says he has ``more time off than people think.''
``Time is the great commodity. Kids are busier than we were, parents are busier, all of those things make it difficult. But we set ground rules which help, like we're never apart for more than two weeks.''Jackman says it's easier when he makes a film he can take the kids to.
``Both of my kids loved it, the 11 year old and the six year old.
``Even my mother-in-law loved it.
``I took her along to a screening and she said she liked more than any of my other films.
``My dad had tears in his eyes, it really is a film for everybody.''
Once off the global Real Steel press tour Jackman is taking his one-man show to Broadway followed by starting work on Tom Hooper's (The King's Speech) big screen adaptation of Les Miserables with ``good buddy'' Russell Crowe.
Real Steel opens today.