Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Iron Man 2" Cast Talks to the World Press Corp, Part 1


April 23, 2010

Press Member: For Robert and for Jon, I wanted to ask what pressure you might have felt or did not feel doing a sequel to the first film which was such a blockbuster and knowing that the fans were just waiting with bated breath. Did you feel pressure?

Robert Downey, Jr.: Do you mean like feel like it’s past tense? I didn’t sleep last night. I didn’t sleep last night. Jon?

Jon Favreau: I’ve never done a sequel before. Um, unless you count me being an under five on ‘Batman Forever’ as a sequel. For me there wasn’t the same pressures that you’re used to feeling. Especially coming up with smaller movies where…

Robert Downey, Jr.: Pipe it up Jon. Come on.

Jon Favreau: You’re throwing a party and you don’t know if people are going to show up. Here we knew people were going to show up and we just wanted to make sure everyone had a good time and it was just going to be as fun or more fun than the last party. So, different kind of pressure.

Press Member: Jon and Kevin can you talk about the timeline for IRON MAN 2 and how it fits in with ‘Thor,’ ‘Captain America,’ and ‘The Avengers?’

Kevin Feige: It takes place before but if you pay attention at the end of the film you’ll see a little clue that tells you it’s happening before ‘The Incredible Hulk.’

Jon Favreau: The whole idea of an Easter egg is that you don’t talk about it.

Kevin Feige: Yeah, or Tweet about it.

Press Member: My question is for Mr. Favreau: There was a snippet in the trailer where Pepper Potts was in the plane with Tony, was that meant to be a part of the Stark expo scene where he’s flying down from the plane?

Jon Favreau: Yes. That was, we had different versions of things that we tried, that was something that was a great image and we love and a scene that is going to be in the DVD. But we had two different versions of it and because of the pacing and the way that we reveal Tony Stark, it felt really good to flow into the drop down and reveal him for the first time on stage. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie this doesn’t make any sense, but often times in the editing room we figure out what combinations of scenes…

Robert Downey, Jr.: Gwyneth is just finding out that scene was cut Jon. You might be a little more sensitive.

Press Member: I’d like to ask Gwyneth and Scarlett, the Tony character is a little surprised that you guys can work together quite well later in the movie. And I was wondering who you think could better work together to save the world, two women like Pepper and Natalie, or two buds like Rhodey and Tony?

Gywneth Paltrow: Well if Scarlett and I were doing it, the body count would be different, less bloody.

Scarlett Johansson: And more organized.

Gywneth Paltrow: Yes.

Scarlett Johansson: We’d just stack them. I don’t know, I that we, with the brains and the muscle and the beauty and the blond, I feel like we maybe have a greater chance, but you guys can fight for yourselves.

Gywneth Paltrow: We’re unstoppable.

Scarlett Johansson: We are, it’s true. Unstoppable, you know. I don’t know, I feel like if I could wield the guns and the karate chop movements and you can like…

Gywneth Paltrow: Out think people?

Scarlett Johansson: You could be the brains behind the operation. That could be your super power.

Gywneth Paltrow: I will out think you.

Press Member: This is a little off topic, but for you Robert, are you going to be the vampire Lestat? Is there truth to that rumor? The vampire Lestat?

Robert Downey, Jr.: Yeah, I mean anything that’s going on just imagine that it’s been offered to me.

Don Cheadle: ‘Precious’ too.

Robert Downey, Jr.: I like that your imagining that we’ve been on topic so far.

Press Member: my question is for Mickey Rourke: That was an electrifying performance. Can you talk about what it was like to play that character and how much fun you had?

Mickey Rourke: I had a lot of fun. It was great cause I worked with some great people and it was real easy, this one here is real easy to work with, makes it fun, and ah it was nice cause I just came off working on a film that there was no budget and I didn’t even have a chair to sit in. I remember the first day I asked for a cappuccino and they asked me what kind I would like. So…

Press Member: For Justin and for Jon, on the first IRON MAN it was sort of famous that you discovered a lot on set, with the first IRON MAN. How much did you discover this time? Justin, how much of your are we seeing on screen and how much is sort of the entire group coming together and working with it and changing things?

Justin Theroux: It’s a heavily improvisational set, you know, and everyone sort of gets to chime in, so my job as the writer, I think was really just to stay on the dance shoes of Robert and Jon and Gwyneth and everybody and just sort of rewrite things on the fly. So we have like an extensive development process obviously. Sort of where we had a script and that ball just keeps rolling into production and then once we’re on set it gets very frenetic and very fast.

Jon Favreau: The story’s very well flushed out. The story, what has to happen in each scene, we understand. We leave a lot of room within those scenes and try to do multiple cameras some times and stay up and rewrite, and Justin you know he was doing multiple passes, sometimes double digit passes on scenes because we learn things on each scene that we shoot, we try to shoot pretty much in order. And what’s nice about having the actors you see up here is their all very good stewards of their characters emotionally and they’re used to being in films where you don’t have the safety net of the high technology and the explosions. And so if they have an issue with something we’re asking the character to do for the story, we discuss it and we figure out a way it can work for them as a performer and also for the movie.

Press Member: This question is for Don Cheadle: Your character Rhodey was played by Terrence Howard in the first one, how did you feel when the opportunity arose for you to play this role in this movie, and how cool was it for you to put on the IRON MAN suit? I mean War Machine suit?

Don Cheadle: Well I don’t know why the War Machine suit was actually made of metal and his was made of light fiber glass material, but maybe it was just an initiation, but I felt very fortunate to get the opportunity to work in a film like this. You know Terrence is a friend and I’ve known him for a long time and I was one of the producers on ‘Crash,’ I put him in that, so it was good to also kind of see him and put anything to bed that people thought was a problem; it wasn’t. We’re cool. And it was, look, it’s a lot of fun. We get to play with the best toys and the best technology so it was just kind of doing what you liked to do as a kid, but all flushed out.

Robert Downey, Jr.: The reason Don’s suit was heavier is that it’s almost impossible to get that mirror like look of a polished metal with CGI. Umm, I would not wish it on an enemy.

Don Cheadle: We’re going to have to come up with a different substance for the next one.

Robert Downey, Jr.: It was horrific.

Don Cheadle: A different material.

Press Member: My question is for the three gentlemen on the end here: you’ve got a rogue’s gallery with IRON MAN, but it’s not as well known as something like ‘Batman’ or ‘Spiderman,’ were there other villains considered? Talk about the decision to go with Whiplash. Was Mickey’s casting part of that?

Kevin Feige: Well I met with Mickey at this hotel, remember? And I brought him some artwork, and we thought Whiplash in the comic book is a guy that’s wearing tights with a big plume, a big purple feather coming out of the top of his head, and that wasn’t what we wanted, but what’s the tech version of that? We were thinking of, we were concocting a version of a Russian, you know thinking of Viggo in ‘Eastern Promises’ and tattoos and that could be a cool in. And so it was going to be a Russian and then we’re like ‘Marv’ and ‘The Wrestler,’ between those two, the fan boys and the independent film community, he was back with a vengeance. And it was like ‘My God, he could really, you know.’ There is a lot of people, we’re not going to have a tremendous amount of screen time, who’s going to be able to be there and make an impression where you feel like this guys in trouble? And so Mickey brought a lot of intensity in both those roles. We did some artwork and I met with him and sat down with him and we talked about everything and it was before the whole awards thing started to happen. We had a nice little connection. And I talked to people who worked with him and they said great things about him. His talent is undeniable. And so that started, that conversation ended, and then Robert was on the road with him, doing the tour because he was on the ‘Tropic Thunder’ awards tour, and he, I think, was lobbying every time they sat together to try and get him to join the movie.

Robert Downey, Jr.: I really worked you like a rib, didn’t I? It was embarrassing. I was literally begging you in public.

Press Member: We’re from Korea, and I just wanted to ask Robert from the first movie to the second movie you’re working with a lot more different characters and more actors and I was wondering, how is that working with some many different new actors in the second movie? What was the dynamic like? What was it like from the first and how is it different?

Robert Downey, Jr.: It was great. I mean, cause these are all folks that I would be happy to work with in any circumstance and in any medium, so it was just swell. As for the management of it, cause I am a little, I don’t want to say neurotic, but a little bit like a co-manager of a baseball team that just got an even better line-up 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, which is why, I don’t know why we haven’t talked about it, had a horrible neck problem during the whole shoot, didn’t you? I mean at one point I thought he was going to have his head removed.

Jon Favreau: This poor guy, he would show up, and there would be this poor guy who would wheel him in, and he would just sigh up and hand in his pages and I’ve never met anyone with a better work ethic, or somebody who could bring inspiration to each scene that he would do. Because we talk a lot about how we bounce stuff around, and the fact that these guys had a really good rapport from ‘Tropic Thunder,’ and he understood his voice and how to weave in and out of Robert’s creative process very effectively. To jump on board a franchise, I think he had, probably the sharpest learning curve for Justin than for all of us. He really did a fantastic job.

Press Member: How hard is it to balance the, keep it natural, the Tony Stark story, while trying to feed in stuff that builds towards the ‘Avengers’ franchise thing? Is it hard to sort of shoe horn Nick Fury in there? Does it work for you? And the other thing is, can you talk a little bit about Sam Rockwell’s performance in here? He made an incredible Justin Hammer, and why didn’t he make the big poster?

Jon Favreau: Ah well let’s see, the characters trick is to make them, to feather them in, so they don’t overwhelm the story and you know suffer from villainitis. And so by having Justin Hammer and Mickey Rourke’s character come together fairly early, you really have two story lines that are weaving, you don’t have five separate story lines. The same thing with Scarlett as Black Widow working her way into Gwyneth and Robert’s story. So we really try to keep flows, of narrative flows going that don’t get too convoluted. Cause I would lose track of that stuff. I get, especially in sequels, as the franchise is getting more complex, I don’t always remember what happened in the last movie. Not for nothing, I like to watch the stuff blow up, but I’m not going to go do homework before I go see a sequel, to be up on everything. And so we tried to keep that simple. And Justin Hammer, I mean Sam Rockwell was somebody that I known and thought would work really well with Mickey, he doesn’t get intimidated by talented performers and movie stars. He’s done a great job with a lot of people.

Mickey Rourke: We had a great time. We had a lot of fun.

Robert Downey, Jr.: Mickey, wait, I’m sorry, hold on. I think we waited long enough. Can we please talk about the parrot already? I don’t know why the parrot is not on the poster, personally.

Mickey Rourke: He’s home.

Jon Favreau: Yeah, you bought one after…

Mickey Rourke: Yeah.

Jon Favreau: Yeah.

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