Real Steel: An Interview with 12-Year-Old Dakota Goyo

by ChristieO

5 Minutes for Mom contributor, Christie O, had the opportunity recently to interview Dakota Goyo, young star of the new movie Real Steel.

Dakota Goyo Could Write This Column:  How to Impress a Roundtable of Moms
Dreamworks’ Real Steel hit #1 at the box office last week which is big news for one of the movie’s biggest stars, 12-year-old Dakota Goyo.

In Real Steel, Dakota plays 11-year-old “Max,” who just lost his mother and is unhappily reunited with his deadbeat dad, a robot boxing promoter named, “Charlie,” played by Hugh Jackman. The only thing in the world the two have in common is their interest in robot boxing and Dakota steals the show with his wit, little boy charm and smooth dance moves. (You can see the full review of Real Steel here with giveaway.)

Before Real Steel, Dakota played alongside Samuel L. Jackson in Resurrecting the Champ (another boxing movie), Woody Harrelson in Defendor and Anthony Hopkins in Thor, so Dakota’s resume is already pretty impressive.

Last week, it was just like any other afternoon for Dakota; he got home from school and happily hopped on a conference call with a bunch of us mom bloggers so we could interview him.  He was gracious and awesome and incredibly insightful for a 12 year old boy as he talked about dancing, working with robots and above all, staying grounded with his friends and family. (I couldn’t help but sit there thinking, if my sons — now 5 & 3 — speak this insightfully and respectfully at 12 years old, I will have done it right.)

REAL STEELWhat was the coolest thing you got to do in the movie?

“To work with the robots, Ive always loved robots, ever since I was a kid, they’re just so cool and exciting, getting to see 9 foot tall functional robots. It’s just a kids dream.”

Getting the part was actually hard work for a 12-year-old who had to audition four times before getting the part. But when he got it,  Dakota worked 9 1/2 hour days for 72 days. That’s hard work! (And yes, he kept track.)

So what drew him to the part of Max?

“Definitely the robots, I mean real 9 foot tall robots that are functional are a kids dream and also meeting — not Wolverine, but the guy, Hugh Jackman, the nicest guy in the universe, just getting to meet him was unbelieveable.”

During the filming though, he still got time off to be a kid. Although he didn’t get to hang out with his friends back home, he met a friend he was able to hang out with while he was filming so it wasn’t all robots and boxing.

“We could ride our skateboards and our scooters, since we’re boys and you have to have fun.”

But with such a successful career already at age 12, how do his family and friends keep him  grounded?

“They give me a lot of support but what I really like is they keep me grounded obviously by living in my home town and not moving to LA. And staying with my friends, they don’t always tell me, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re so good,’ and I appreciate that because I don’t want to  be like, ‘Oh my gosh I’m at the top.”  He continued, “When people keep on telling me, ‘You should be better, you gotta fix this,’ it’s always something that I have to work for.”

Dakota made his dancing debut in Real Steel, but he had help coming up with the dance moves.

“I never tried to dance before the film so I never really knew I could dance, and then our choreographer Ann Fletcher, she kind of taught me the moves I never knew that I could do,” he said. “We had like 20 minutes a day for 3 days to learn a two minute routine, so it wasn’t a very long time, it sounds like a long time but it was only like an hour to learn a 2 minute routine, getting to learn those moves from Ann, I mean, I’ve been doing those moves and Ive been dancing ever since.”

Keep dancing, Dakota!

Real Steel is rated PG-13 and is out in theaters right now. Go see it!

Written by 5 Minutes for Mom contributor, Christie O, author of the blog Average Moms Wear Capes.

Email Author    |    Website About ChristieO

A mom to two, former news producer turned freelance writer, runner and wanna be triathlete, trying to enjoy every moment of all of it!

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Riley October 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I’m 10 and Dakota Goyo is so hot will he go out with me plz


2 Brooke October 30, 2011 at 8:57 pm

i want him to go out with me to and besides im 11 and its more likely for me to go out with him than you so buzz off my crush and dont bother him he is mine and we have way much more in common than yall do i bet


3 raquelle March 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm

hey brooke he is mine for your information im 12 and your 11 i think he would rather go out with a 12 year old then a 11 year old. :)


4 Ashlyn April 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

I agree with Ashlee, you should like him for his personallity. Also, don`t fight over him because don`t you think he should chose who he likes… and he could already have a girlfriend.


5 Anna December 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm

At this age, I’m pretty sure his parents are not going to allow him to have a girlfriend, and he’s already 13


6 Shelby albio February 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm

OMG! Me and Dakota have a lot and common and I’m 11 but he is SUPER hot!!!and I totally want him 2 go out with me cuz he`s hot!!!


7 Ashlee March 18, 2012 at 11:12 am

I really like Dakota for who he is. He seems like a nice guy. U guys shouldn’t like him because he’s hot. It’s more likely to like someone who’s nice. Hot doesn’t count.


8 Isabella April 4, 2012 at 11:05 am

Hi I’m just a casual smart girl 12 years in age and hoping to travel around the world. Love rap music atv swimming usher . I live on a small island called Christmas island of the coast of western australia.


9 Olivia July 16, 2012 at 1:29 am

Dakota is cute. His comments made me laugh. He seems sweet and I have a picture of him on my iPod. Plus I’m 12 so when I’m older it would be mice to meet him.


10 Julieta August 20, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Hi ok i love him he is smart, cute, great actor and has amazing blue eyes!!
That is why i love him, not jut because i think he’s hot! Although, HE IS!!!
I’m 12 would be 13 september, so hes just one month older than me.
We both have blonde hair and pretty much the same eyes only mine are green!! Its like the PERFECT match.


11 Aiba August 21, 2012 at 11:38 am

glad to know Dakota listens to AC/DC. Hope he dedicates part of his time to- “Keeping THE BAND ALIVE”.


12 beatrice cabato December 20, 2012 at 10:07 am

ahmm . helLo dakota . i hope more projects come to you wish you a good health and a better showbusiness . i’m a filipino and 12 years old 1st year student hope to see you soon . im planing to be an artist cause thats what i want when i grow up. and to be a stewardess . :)) i wish you can tweet me in twitter my username is Muapsxz_05 thank u .


13 nikki joyce December 30, 2012 at 11:57 am

Girls like Dakota. Lol.


14 pinky675812 January 27, 2013 at 11:59 am

His birthday is augest 22 1999 so he’s 13 and my birthday is October 26 1999 and I’m 13 and I love him soo much


15 pinky675812 January 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I want to contact him by text or email so plz, if u know his number/email, go to my twitter and my name here is pinky675812 @stawberry


16 geni February 15, 2013 at 4:42 am

I am totally in love with Dakota! He is supercute, super funny, he has blonde hair and gorgeous blue eyes. Hes the same age as me. I have blonde hair and blue eyes! I LOVE you DAKOTA GOYO!


17 shannon April 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm

i think dakota is an amazing young man with a big heart and a sense of humour. Love has no age, but is has commitment, loyalty and trust. It would be amazing to meet him one day and maybe get to my idol(dakota). I am a proud fan and will always be!


18 kayla April 15, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Well most of you guys should know your in love with someone who doesn’t know you. I understand you have I crush on him I did to but don’t you guys have better things to worry about like school. There will be a better time to woory about boys when your older and yes I am 13 like most of you guys….


19 Boipelo July 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm

i think he wouldn’t date any o you girls ,not because he doesn’t like you will never know you unless you stalk him like crazy put number in his mailbox and find his e-mail address or even a number but I will agree that he is a really smart and such a sweetheart that he could date all of you girls .question ???????????? how old are u girls now ?!cause i am 14 and he is turning 14 next month .


20 Costte October 20, 2013 at 6:46 am

I don’t think he actually knows you all. And by the way he’s so hot.


21 Olivia November 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm

I think he’s cute too, but I don’t think he will ever know any of us. By the way, I think I’m closest in age because my birthday is September 4th, 1999, and his is August 22nd, 1999… I still think he doesn’t even read all of these comments.


22 Olivia November 25, 2013 at 3:58 pm

HaHa i meant to say I still don’t think he even reads these comments.


23 Justin July 17, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Hey I’m 11 and would like to hang with Dakota Goyo one of these days he seems cool and I would see why u girls like him I mean he’s got the fame and the looks to pull it off and I agree with Ashlyn he probably has a girl so don’t get your hopes up.


24 Justin July 17, 2014 at 9:24 pm



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