‘Real Steel’ Director Sean Levy Explains How He Gets His Actors Crying

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Crying on cue for a movie can be hard enough for an adult actor, and is often next to impossible for a child actor.  But Shawn Levy, director of Real Steel, has a secret to getting the waterworks going: music. 

“I play music on set when I’m shooting,” Levy explained during a discussion about his robot film, “The more intellectual the actor, the more I find music is a great way to direct, because you bypass the cerebral intellect with music.” 

Levy goes into more detail about how he chooses his music, revealing, “For every sequence of the movie, I make a play list months before I make the movie.  So I had fight songs, I had pre-fight songs, I had the opening — and my opening playlist was Nick Drake, Josh Rayden, Alexi Murdoch, Ben Harper, a little Jon Mayer…that kind of stuff.”  Huh… I can’t see how Nick Drake, Ben Harper, or Jon Mayer music would be appropriate pump-up music for a robot boxing film, but that’s why Levy is paid the big bucks.   For the challenge of making eleven year-old Dakota Goyo cry, Levy picked the song “First Breath After Coma” by Explosions in the Sky.  His directions to Goyo were succinct: Levy reveals, “The last thing I said is, I need you to cry.  I did not say anything.  I said, I’m gonna play some music, feel what you feel.  We’re gonna roll slow motion.  Let’s see what happens…And so I played this piece of music, and he started…first it was the nostril, and that’s what you see in the movie — the nostril, then the chin, and that one frickin’ tear!”

Levy’s directing helped make Real Steel the #1 movie at the box office last weekend… and I’m sure he’s not crying about that!

Via About.com

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About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...)For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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