Robert Downey Jr. talks IRON MAN 2 and SHERLOCK HOLMES

     April 19, 2009



Written by Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintraub



Yesterday I attended the international press day for “The Soloist” as a reporter for our partner website Omelete. Since Robert is extremely busy filming “Iron Man 2”, he was only doing limited press. Thankfully, I was one of the lucky ones that got to participate in a roundtable interview. In the coming days I’ll be posting the full transcript, but with demand for “Iron Man 2” news as high as any film going right now, I figured you might want to know what Robert said right now.



The first bit of news is about this year’s Comic-Con. At the end of the interview I asked Robert is he was already thinking about Comic-Con. He said, “Goddamn right I am.”



I followed up with are you and Jon planning anything cool? He said, “Yes, what do you think?”



As most of you probably remember, it was Comic-Con two years ago that director Jon Favreau premiered a few minutes of footage to the beyond enthusiastic Hall H crowd. That was the first time anyone had seen Iron Man in action and afterwards, buzz spread like wildfire across cyberspace. Jon has always said that it was Comic-Con that helped make “Iron Man” the huge worldwide success. Since this will be the only Comic-Con before “Iron Man 2” hits theaters, I’d imagine we’ll be getting the first teaser trailer or at least a scene from the upcoming sequel. Either way, it’s awesome news and another reason to go to Comic-Con this year.



Now about the movie itself….



Remember when filming began and word leaked that Gary Shandling was in the film and no one was really sure what part he played? Robert told us about the first day of filming and how Gary plays a Senator:



Robert: Day one I’m doing a Senate hearing where the government is saying the Iron Man tech needs to be turned over to the Senator and the Senator is Gary Shandling. And we had this fantastic day that was somehow this controlled chaos of a Senate hearing where I keep interrupting them and dah dah dah.



Another bit that Robert told us was how he is taking “Iron Man 2” more seriously than any movie he has ever done:



Robert: And I’ve never been in a sequel and it’s very daunting because I feel the expectation of the millions of people who watched it and enjoyed it and told me that it was a little different than your usual genre picture and that they expected us to not screw it up. So I actually have taken “Iron Man 2” probably more seriously than any movie I’ve ever done, which is appropriately ridiculous for Hollywood.



On Jon Favreau posting Twitter updates from the set:



Jon is my brother and he is the keeper of the “Iron Man” flame and whatever he wants to do, within reason, to keep his anxieties at bay is absolutely fine with me.



On the way the suit has been improved from the first film:



Everything has been improved. Everything is ergonomic and the story is incredibly risky and artistic for a big genre movie.



In which way risky?



The set pieces have to do with things that aren’t your typical like bad guy conflict. The relationships are very complex and hilarious. The motivations Tony has and why he turns around and does things has completely to do with his own internal processes and it really is, I think, as much as we tried to in the first one really see behind the façade of this kind of storytelling. We really, I think, leaving ourselves open to…we’re kind of trying to tell a story about how a dysfunctional family saves life on Earth as we know it.



For this film you have Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell. You have an insane cast.



It’s huge.



Could you talk about working with Mickey?



I could if we shot together. I’ve seen his stuff and it is literally remarkable. Literally remarkable. He’s so good. And he’s formidable and he’s very much reminding me of that kind of charming, confident guy that we know. Sam Rockwell, on the first day of shooting I was like “if this guy thinks he’s going to be funnier and cooler than me (laughter) and it was a photo-finish. Scarlett Johansson, amazing. Don Cheadle is just rocking it.



On how does his career feel nowadays with the “Iron Man 2” shooting and “The Soloist” coming out…



And “Sherlock” in the can. Don’t even get me started on “Sherlock Holmes”. I might have a double-franchise by three days after Christmas.




The final bit of news is about “Sherlock Holmes” and the possible running time.



Someone asked Robert a question about how he prepares for his roles and does he consume himself. He gave a pretty long answer and he also might have told us the running time for “Sherlock Holmes”. Here is the quote. Judge for yourself:



Robert: And then I went and did “Sherlock Holmes” which was technically really difficult and period, but I am kicking ass for 2-1/2 hours and all this stuff I’ve been learning for five years suddenly I’m like co-choreographing with these veteran stunt guys and bad-asses. And I’m in there having this just meat eating, man slaughtering competition with these guys and then at the same time playing a very reserved Brit and that to me was a massive education.



So it’s possible that “Sherlock Holmes” is 2-1/2 hours, but it’s also possible that it isn’t….so take this one with a grain of salt.



You can look for the full interview later this week. And I’m on the ever growing world of Twitter….



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