ByAlisha Grauso, writer at
Editor-at-large here at Movie Pilot. Nerd out with me on Twitter, comrades: @alishagrauso
Alisha Grauso

It's been pretty standard protocol on the set of Marvel movies that there's a freeze on having contact with the inner workings of any one of their films until the last trailer is released, and Iron Man 3 was no exception. Might we say Iron Man has been behind an...Iron...Curtain (Oh my God, why am I not writing for SNL yet)? This embargo includes getting the scoop on photos stills, set visits, and interviews.

But the last trailer just dropped, and Collider was all over things, getting an interview with Iron Man himself, . The always-candid actor opened up about Iron Man 3, how The Avengers changed the character of Tony Stark, what it was like working with , how much improvisation is in the next film, and more. It was, as is always is with an interview with RDJ, fascinating.

On whether or not he was excited to start filming Iron Man 3 again...and if he feels it addresses all of Tony's unfinished business:

I was kinda looking forward to it. I don’t want to say “kinda”. That’s tepid. You know that thing of it’s spring break or summer or winter and you have these plans? You want to go to Sedona, right? So push that peanut down the road a little bit. This is, to me, the kind of grab bag wish list of things we’ve always wanted to do and haven’t had the chance. I put so much onus on Iron Man 3. Iron Man 3 was supposed to answer all the questions for an audience. Cure all my uncomfortable moments in the past playing this character and get in every idea that fell by the wayside the last three movies. Then we shot the movie and I feel like there’s still a number of other things we have to do.

He's also pretty pumped about working with Shane Black and how much room for improvisation he let RDJ have:

It’s two-fold. As we were finding our way and trying to build towards the possibility of Avengers, there was a lot of armature and things we had to deal with as far as, “What are we going to exactly do?” and “What are we going to exactly say?” But there was a lot of, “What are we doing in act three?” “Where are we ending all this?” I think that, by the time Shane had teamed up Drew Pearce, the overall arc of the turns and acts and themes and all that stuff in the story remained relatively unchanged, which is amazing. They really kind of made just exactly the right size sandbox for the whole thing, but there’s some new kind of twists in it architecturally. That’s just the way Shane writes, you know? Nothing is arbitrary. Everything has some meaning at some point later in the story or speaks to a theme. That’s the hardest stuff to try and grab when you’re already shooting. That said, I respect him so much that I did not respect his day to day writing at all and I just looked at scenes at the beginning of the day as, well, they had to put a bunch of words on this or they couldn’t have a call sheet. These are called sides. I call them three-piece. Three pieces of paper with print on them. Which must be annoying to an excellent writer, but that’s just the way I’ve been conditioned. I get a good script and go, “This is good! I mean, we’re not going to shoot it, but..."

Does he think the events of The Avengers irrevocably changed the character of Tony Stark? And will we see that change in effect in the next Iron Man movie? Yes and yes:

Well, we had to do something, you know? I thought, “Isn’t it odd that he had this experience? And why was he suddenly just in New York for one summer?” We know why he was there. Stark Tower. But what he was doing there was really building an architect for a third act set piece. I wanted him back home and I thought, "What if that happened to any of us? Wouldn’t we be a little tripped out? You’d be watching your back." Then I thought about this 21st century reality and kind of oddball zeitgeist of America and terrorism and all the weirdo stuff that this country seems to generate and co-create. So I thought he should be a little freaked out. We always had this idea where we wanted Tony and Rhodey to be at this place two miles away from where his house is called Neptune’s Net on the PCH. I really wanted to see them at Neptune’s Net with their suits just parked outside like motorcycles. They’re inside and just two guys. I didn’t even know if we could get Neptune’s Net. There’s licensing. It’s like saying, "Let’s go shoot at Spago!" I was like, "Is it? Did you ask them?" I wanted that kind of sensibility and so did Shane. We both wanted them just sitting on a couch with a martini. I go, "A martini? Hold on now!" "Alright! Just sitting on the couch. Pepper comes home. There he is." Shane had all these iconic images and I had my own. The studio and Kevin [Feige] had an equal amount of theirs. It turned into this really surprising and entertaining and really deep and cool movie.

And lastly, whether or not he'll lengthen his contract with Marvel (which was already initially set for almost 10 films) and it, as it always does with RDJ, goes a bit off the rails and ends up someplace with boots and digestion and artists:

I don’t know. I honestly get uncomfortable with leverage. I was annoyed for awhile about having a contract where, in success, not very much changes for you. But then I got to thinking, “What was I really doing before I got ‘Iron Man’?” Then I think, “Don’t lead with that, Robert! You’re a big prime mover!” I go, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” I get that. I can talk about that for two hours. But I’m a big believer in being really straight and saying, “Okay, let’s really look at this.” I not going to pretend I’m over it and whatever. Obviously, it’s better to have a contract run out than it is to have one go on indefinitely. But I guess that’s why contracts have limits on them. Let’s just say that me, the agents and the lawyers are having a bit of a ball right now. I don’t like this whole — and I think it’s a particularly Western thing. Well, maybe not anymore, because we’re being outpaced by the east business-wise — of “We’ve got him! Let’s screw him to the floor!” Is that what gets you off? Making people feel bad? It shouldn’t be, “Man, they really put the screws to us, brother.” It’s like, “Weren’t we excited about the future a couple of years ago. Now we’re just laying the boots to each other. It’s just so digesting. I’m an artist!

The whole interview is much longer, but it's so amazing and WTF? and unfiltered that it's a must-read. You can click here to read the article in its entirety and also listen to the audio. The whole thing is RDJ just going off and I'm not even sure what's happening at points, but...yeah. Just click the link.


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