Hugh Jackman was 20lbs overweight before shooting 'Real Steel'.

The 42-year-old actor was inspired to take on the role of ex-boxer Charlie Kenton in the movie - which is set in a world where robots are the new fighters - by looking at the professional boxing career of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.

He said: "It was kinda nice not to do all the action, I must admit. I rang Shawn Levy, the director, and said, 'Shawn, I play an ex-boxer, I think we should go for it. I've met Mike Tyson and he still looks formidable but he looks a little softer - don't tell him this please'.

"But anyway I turned up a month before shooting, 20 pounds overweight, and Shawn said, 'That realism thing, let's just pull that way back.' "

Hugh - who stars as superhero Wolverine in the 'X-Men' franchise - admitted he is not a tough guy off-screen and would be "crying like a baby" if he ever had to box For Real.

Speaking at a press conference of Dreamworks' 'Real Steel' at Claridge's Hotel in London, he added to BANG Showbiz: "I'm an actor, I may make it look like I can do it, but I would be crying like a baby. I'll be honest, I'm a little bit Wolverine-like - I haven't got a temper but if you hit me in the face anywhere I can go into a blind rage, just a warning."