Robert Downey Jr. Discusses Iron Man’s Politics in ‘Captain America: Civil War’

     December 3, 2015


In the first trailer for Captain America: Civil War, there was an interesting line when Cap (Chris Evans) tells Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) that he’s choosing his brainwashed former assassin friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) over him. “He’s my friend,” Cap says. “So was I …” replies a hurt Tony Stark, something we don’t usually see from his character.

Those complicated emotions are a driving force in the upcoming film, which will see Cap and Tony squaring off over issues of power and control. Tony, in the wake of having unleashed Ultron on the world, is finally ready for some boundaries. Cap, as he says in the trailer, sees things differently.


Image via Marvel

In their continuing coverage of all things Civil War from the set in Atlanta, Georgia, EW sat down with Robert Downey, Jr. to talk about what we can expect from the film. Iron Man is the main antagonist in the movie, but does he have a problem with that?

“It didn’t bother me at all,” says Downey. “I’ve always thought of it in some ways that Tony is the antagonist to himself in his own story, so this isn’t a problem. This guy understands problems ‘cause he is a problem. And he tends to create problems.”

He added that he completely agrees with Tony’s actions,

“I wholeheartedly agree with what he does in this.” The actor adds with a smile: “Which is, by the way, more than I could say for some of the other movies.”

Because of course Robert Downey Jr. IS Tony Stark, and we all know it. EW also got to watch a scene involving Cap, Sam Wilson a.k.a. Falcon (Anthony Mackie), T’Challa a.k.a. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Martin Freeman’s government attaché and Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow:


Image via Marvel

Something bad has gone down. Cap and Falcon were involved. It did not go well. They have handed over their vibranium shield and flying apparatus before being allowed access to this place. The pair look like they’re being sent to the principal’s office.

Stark, who hasn’t yet had his beat-down, is on his cell phone with U.S. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) as Cap and Falcon step into the nerve center of the intelligence office. “No, Romania was not sanctioned by the accords …. Col. Rhodes is supervising clean-up… Yes, there will be consequences…” Stark looks irritated, tired. “Obviously, you can quote me on that. I just said it.”

Things escalate, with Cap realizing he’s not getting his shield back. Tony is bitterly sarcastic. And as EW says, “There’s no other way to put this: You’ve never seen Tony be such a dick before.” And Downey is loving it.

But deep down, Tony is clearly struggling with this rift from Cap. The two have had a playfully terse relationship that’s been built into several of the films, but it’s clear now that Tony is realizing that Cap being the leader of the Avengers shouldn’t necessarily be such an “obvious” choice, and he’s ready to fight for it.

Still, Chris Evans added that the relationship between the two is really about family, love, and respect, and it appears that Tony is willing to try some diplomacy before it comes to blows. “He’s really trying everything from great earnestness to outright manipulation, emotional manipulation to try to get Cap to just make this, to swing the vote.” But so far, it doesn’t seem to be working.

For more on Captain America: Civil War, you can peruse our recent stories below:


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