The team behind Marvel’s latest superhero offering were in London promoting the third instalment of the Iron Man films. In attendance were cast members Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebecca Hall, Don Cheadle and Ben Kingsley, accompanied by writer Drew Pearce, and co-writer and director Shane Black.
The tone of the film is incredible. How easy is it to get that into the script?
Drew Pearce: It helps if you co-write with Shane Black, who also directed the movie, and it helps to have these guys (the actors) actually in it. And we had an amazing template in Iron Man 1, and all the work Jon Favreau did there, so really it was ours to screw up.
Don, the relationship between yours and Robert Downey Jr.’s character in this film is great. Was that fun to explore?
Don Cheadle: I always have fun with Robert, whenever we do anything. So yeah, we had a lot of fun, and an opportunity to take the relationship to the next level. We had great fun with Shane and Drew just chopping it up.
Ben, this is a whole new world for you – how was it going in?
Ben Kingsley: Well, as a compliment to the rest of the people at the table, and deeply intended, the welcome they give to a new boy is extraordinary. I think it’s a measure of their confidence and joy in what they do, and what they’ve created with the franchise, the welcome they gave me was self-assured, so generous, and so confident. Within seconds I felt like a team player.
Gwyneth, Pepper gets to kick ass in this film. That must have been fun to explore.
Gwyneth Paltrow: It was, it was great. Part of the fun of doing these films is that Pepper keeps evolving. It was really fun.
Robert, we see Tony stripped for the first time of everything that he sort of relies on in Iron Man 3. Was that great to explore in terms of the layers of the character?
Robert Downey Jr.: We figured that after The Avengers, we couldn’t really go for more of a spectacle, and I’m so glad that people who have seen the movie are telling us that we kind of did this correctly. Enough for me to be proud enough to announce the next instalment, which will be just Rebecca and I called Iron Man 4: Parade’s End.
Rebecca, you play quite a strong female character that is drawn to this man (Tony Stark). What is the attraction to him?
Rebecca Hall: I have no idea. No, I think she’s an equally driven scientific genius, there’s somewhat of a parity between them, and then not at the same time. She’s very focused, very tunnel-vision in that respect.
Shane, this film comes at the end of two other movies. It’s kind of a sequel to two films. Did you bear this in mind when you approached this project?
Shane Black: When you do anything that is a number 3, you have to ask yourself how can we pretend this was supposed to happen anyway, what’s the story left to tell that makes it seem in retrospect that it was waiting to get itself told. In a way it’s not a trilogy, because there’s the Avengers in the middle of it. So in a way, it’s a trilogy and then us. So it’s about looking for the thing that hasn’t been explored yet, trying to find something different. And Jon Favreau was just a goddamn prince. He was the most gracious, helpful, wonderful participant in this process, so he helped me a lot.
Ben, what was your reaction when you were handed the script in which you were playing a character with more than a large streak of theatrical ham running through his back?
BK: I felt completely at home. The devices that The Mandarin employs are all rooted in observations of my partners. I won’t name names, but some members of the audience might recognize I’m doing them. It’s a beautiful script, and there’s very little deviation from what was on the page. I loved the writing – there was our mandate, and we followed it pretty well to the letter.
Iron Man 3 is released in cinemas on April 25th.