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Robert Downey Jr Discusses ‘Iron Man 2’

Robert Downey Jr Photo Iron Man 2Robert Downey in ‘Iron Man 2.’

© Paramount Pictures

April 30, 2010 – Robert Downey Jr returns as billionaire Tony Stark in Iron Man 2, the 2010 sequel to the 2008 blockbuster hit. Downey Jr made the character so engaging in the first film that even moviegoers who’d never picked up an Iron Man comic could understand and embrace the billionaire industrialist forced into wearing a special suit in order to stay alive. Reuniting with Iron Man director Jon Favreau, Downey steps back into character once again, this time as a Tony Stark the world knows is also Iron Man.Downey Jr joined director Favreau and a handful of his Iron Man 2 co-stars for a press conference in Los Angeles to discuss the ins and outs of this second Iron Man movie. And while theIron Man 2 talent participated as a group in the press conference, the following is just the Downey Jr portion of the Q&A.

Iron Man 2 Robert Downey Jr Q&A

Can you talk about the pressure you did – or did not – feel making the sequel after the success of the first film?Robert Downey Jr: “You mean like ‘feel like’ it’s past tense? I didn’t sleep last night. I didn’t sleep last night!”

Did you ever dress up as a superhero as a kid, and if so, who did you dress up as?

Robert Downey Jr: “Growing up, no. But in my mid-30s in Palm Springs, right before an arrest, yes. [Laughing] It was a premonition.”

What was it like working with the new additions to the cast?

Robert Downey Jr: “It was great. Because these are all folks that I’d be happy to work with in any circumstance and any medium, so it was just swell. As for the management of it, because I’m a little, I don’t want to say neurotic, but I felt a little bit like a co-manager of a baseball team that got an even better lineup in the spring. So I felt a little beholden to be partially responsible for their experience. But really a lot of that fell on Justin [Theroux, the screenwriter], which is why, I don’t know why we haven’t talked about it yet, you [indicating Justin] had a horrible neck problem during the entire shoot, didn’t you? I mean, at one point I thought he was going to have his head removed.”

There’s a real Moonlighting sort of chemistry between you and Gwyneth Paltrow, and the kiss was eagerly anticipated. How was it to get to pay that off finally?

Robert Downey Jr: “I couldn’t get her off of me. It was embarrassing.”

[Gwyneth Paltrow says, “It was great because both my husband and his wife were right there.]

Robert Downey Jr: “She said to me that I didn’t know what I was doing, like it didn’t feel good. I’m like, ‘You know what? First of all, we’re all friends, so what would be creepy would be if I was coming off all sexy to you,’ – which by the way, I’ve done that in movies and it creeps them out. ‘So what am I going to creep you out for?’ Despite what she said on set, she still thinks about it.”

How did Susan Downey become a producer and how did Jon Favreau’s cameo, Happy Hogan, get more fleshed out?

Robert Downey Jr: “On a certain level they might have thought she was going to come in and tame me or put me in check or whatever, but I was completely out of my mind.”

[Jon Favreau says, “They tamed us.”]

Robert Downey Jr: “Power hungry. Let’s talk about Happy Hogan. All right, there’s three Happy Hogans in the movie. There’s the Jon Favreau that was in actually excellent shape. He was boxing every day in preproduction and made it into the ring, the scene where he gets his ass handed to him by Scarlett [Johansson]. It was originally a longer scene and maybe he was just too emasculated to actually let it be in the movie, but I think [Scarlett] laid the boots to him quite severely.”

“Midway, he’s struggling with the meta-fast, but occasionally he’d binge and have pizza but then say, ‘This is crazy. I’ve got to get back in shape.'”

What were the intellectual and emotional challenges for you?

Robert Downey Jr: “Again, I think we just labored really hard to say, ‘Okay, we’re audience members who made the first Iron Man successful and we’re smart, which is kind of why we were drawn to it, so what do we expect?’ So we kept putting ourselves in audience seats. So to me, the mental and emotional aspects and development of Tony were to me a lot more – it’s strange to say personal because it’s not necessarily related to my life so to speak, but just the mythology of saying you’re something and being that thing are something entirely different.”

“And also this whole idea of Howard Stark and the legacy and the shadow of that legacy that we always were talking about, Mickey [Rourke] and I, about being kind of two sides of the same coin. One who was able to escape that captivity, and one who saw his father die in the ruins of improper recognition, and having to reckon with that. Really, all of the characters, Black Widow/Natalie in certain places bringing me back to an extended family I’ve always had, and Mickey as Anton is telling me that all is not well and people have vendettas for reasons I might not understand but I need to understand. And Rhodey is there saying, ‘Hey, you’ve always had me on your wing, so why won’t you really let me help you?'”

This is a little off-topic, but are you going to be the vampire Lestat, or is there any truth to that rumor?

Robert Downey Jr: [Laughing] “Yeah, and I mean, anything that’s going on, just imagine it’s been offered to me.”

* * * * * *

Iron Man 2 hits theaters on May 7, 2010 and is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some language.

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May 7, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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