Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated film of next year is the bringing to the big screen of one of the biggest stars of the Marvel Universe, Iron Man. Part of that buzz can be directly attributed to the fact that multi-millionaire playboy/weapons designer Tony Stark is being played by Robert Downey, Jr. The rest might just have to do with how freaking fantastic the few sneak peeks that we have been allowed to see so far happen to be. Buzzine's Emmanuel Itier sat in Hollywood, CA with the man of the moment for a few minutes to try and glean a few more snippets of info on the upcoming Paramount Pictures blockbuster...
Emmanuel Itier: What would you say Tony Stark and Robert Downey, Jr. have in common?
Robert Downey, Jr.: Well, we love each other! Tony Stark is very good to me. Also, like Tony, I think I´m a daring man. And this is brilliant, what Stan Lee did with creating Iron Man way back. He created him on a dare – a dare that you could take a military industrial, complex billionaire womanizer, in a time when all that stuff was not cool. He was the man.
You take the man and you give him such a metaphorical womb that he doesn’t turn it around. In fact, he goes half crazy by it and, by that flip, comes out of one denial and gets into another denial, being that you can’t affect direct change. And he puts himself in danger. But we tried to get rid of some of the preachy side of my character, at times. I would change dialogues sometimes as well.
EI: Tony Stark is brilliant man, rather like you…
RD: He is someone who inherited a massive responsibility and he is very industrial. I make faces with cash and chicken and lost myself for years. There is something about that – I always felt like this untangeable thing me. There is this Howard Hughes thing.
If nothing else, I can relate to someone who thinks in a different way and try to make a difference. At times, he is also having a spiritual awakening, and I can relate to that because I’ve been through that. What happened to him was his own doing to the contrary to Batman or Spiderman. It’s due to his own naiveté, his own inability to come out of denial and see what effects he has on life. It’s a karma type of superhero.
RD: Well, Tony Stark is Iron Man, but he doesn’t know it until he becomes it. Even when he becomes Iron Man, he doesn’t really stop being Tony Stark. He doesn’t become nice, out of the blue, to Pepper. He still snaps at her…
EI: Did you have to get in top shape to become Iron Man?
RD: Oh yeah! I had to be in top shape, and I did lots of training and I did some of my stunts, and it was quite a challenge. The Iron Man armor was quite heavy, and it was pretty tricky at times. Also, it was hard to see through the helmet, and it made it difficult for my marking and the overall shooting. But I survived it, and I think it looks fantastic.
EI: Did they custom-tailor the Iron man suit for your body?
RD: No, they probably tailored it to the tallest, unshaped stunt man.
EI: Were you hurt during the shooting?
RD: Not really. Plus, you train in a way that you don’t really know how injured you are. I trained for a year with lots of weight training. It took me 18 months to get to Tony’s shape.
EI: And finally, the big question: Will you be ready and willing for Iron Man 2?
RD: You bet! I’ll be back!
Marvel/Paramount Pictures' 'Iron Man' is scheduled for a Spring 2008 release.