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Robert Downey Jr on Iron Man 2

Published May 7, 2010 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Paramount Pictures
Iron Man 2 Iron Man 2

Robert Downey Jr. is on top of the world, or at least Hollywood, with two blockbuster franchises. Still, when it came time to do his first sequel, he didn’t take it lightly. The pressure of living up to expectations for Iron Man 2 is getting to him.

Robert Downey Jr Talks Iron Man 2


“I didn’t sleep last night,” Downey said. “I didn’t sleep last night. 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. 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.”

In Iron Man 2, Tony Stark deals with the politics of owning a billion dollar weaponized suit of armor, and learns some new secrets about his dad. “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?’”

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Letting new actors into the Tony Stark show lightened the load for Downey a little bit. “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 [screenwriter] Justin [Theroux].”

Stark still deals with old relationships too. Rhody is back, even though there’s a new actor, and there’s still that platonic romantic tension with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow.) “I couldn’t get her off of me. It was embarrassing. 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.”

Iron Man 2 is out in theaters now.

For the posters, trailers, stills and more movie info, go to the Iron Man 2 Movie Page.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Paramount Pictures
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