I recently got the chance to talk to Torey Adkins about his role in ‘Real Steel’. Here, Torey talks about what it was like working with Hugh Jackman and Kevin Durand and how he got into acting in the first place…
Hey Torey. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘Real Steel’ is currently in cinemas right now…
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
‘Real Steel’ is at its core a story about a father and son relationship. It’s set against a backdrop of robot boxing, which in the near future has replaced human boxing. It’s about redemption for the humans and robot alike!
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
In the film, I play a character called The Large Texan Man. I own a bull that is supposed to fight one of Hugh Jackman’s robots. He tries to back out of the bet because of the size of my bull. It was an awesome scene as they had real bulls and they built a stadium in the middle of this farm in Michigan.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I live in Chicago, and my awesome agent Dawn Gray landed me an audition. The tricky part was that the auditions were in Detroit and I had to audition in person. I drove five hours to audition and then five hours home. A few weeks later I had to drive it all over again for the callback. In the callback I was asked to just improv with the director Shawn Levy and it went great. I didn’t hear anything about it for almost a month and then I got the call that I booked it.
How would you say this film is different and unique? Would you say its ‘Transformers’ meets ‘The Fighter’?
I would say it’s more ‘Transformers’ meets ‘Rocky’. It’s really an underdog story about an old robot that is literally pulled out of a junk pile and ends up fighting for the world title. It’s the type of film that you can’t help but cheer throughout. It’s interesting that it takes the love of machines to bring a father and son together.
The film stars Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie and Kevin Durand – with Shawn Levy onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
I was lucky in that I got to spend a week on set with Hugh Jackman and Kevin Durand. Both of them were just great guys. I had lunch with both a couple of times and got to hear all kinds of fun stories about different movie projects that they had worked on. Also the director Shawn Levy was a joy to work with. Also I must mention that I got to speak to producer Don Murphy a few times and he is one cool dude. He has been part of some many great movies including ‘Natural Born Killers’. For a first feature and only having a few lines, I got to spend time with some really powerful people.
Let’s talk a bit about you Torey. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?…
Well I started my entertainment career off in stand up comedy, which eventually led to my interest in acting. I started off doing theatre in Chicago, which led to the movie stuff. I love the whole process of making a movie. I recently shot my first lead role in a SAG independent film. It was a lot more pressure and yet I loved it. I love the long days and the bonding that you get to do with your co-stars on a set and off.
You’ve been in a number of TV and film projects – who has been your favorite actor/actress to work with so far and which project has been your favorite to be a part of?
Besides working with Hugh, I was lucky to have gotten to work with Jesse Eisenberg on a movie called ’30 Minutes Or Less’, which came out this past summer. I played a bank customer who got shot when Jesse’s character was trying to rob a bank. Jesse is such a sweet, down to earth person. My favourite part about working with him was making him crack up and blow some takes. It was funny to watch this serious actor just start laughing because of my facial expressions. It was also great to work with Aziz Ansari and director Ruben Fleischer of ‘Zombieland’ fame. Ruben is such a talent and he’s so laid back.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
Kings of Leon, Garth Brooks, and Adele. Plus some old school rock, rap and country. Basically I am a music slut.
If I asked you to decorate a room, what color would you paint it and why?
Wow, first of all if you asked me to decorate anything I would assume you were drunk! I would probably paint the room dark green because it’s my favourite colour.
If you were stuck on a desert island – what three things could you not live out?
Pizza, ‘Family Guy’, and a female sidekick.
What’s coming up for you in 2011/12?
’30 Minutes Or Less’ is coming out on DVD in November in the States. I also have a feature horror film coming out this winter called ‘House Of Purgatory’. In 2012, I have a comedy film coming out called ‘Roundabout American’. I play one of the leads in that film. Also sometime next summer I will be playing Little John in a modern-day Robin Hood web series called ‘Prince Of Thieves’.
Thanks for the interview!