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Interview: Iron Man 2 star Don Cheadle!

05.04.2010
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I have a lot of respect for Don Cheadle. His resume includes a variety of roles, including TRAITOR, OCEAN’S ELEVEN (TWELVE and THIRTEEN), CRASH and his Academy Award nominated performance in HOTEL RWANDA. And now, he takes on IRON MAN 2, replacing Terrence Howard as Rhodey. But IRON MAN 2 is where the fun really begins for Rhodey and of course, War Machine. And yes, Mr. Cheadle does a hell of a job tackling the role and fitting right into Tony Stark’s world.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to Don about Iron Man. I had a terrific time chatting with this talented fellow. While it was a short conversation, he spoke about taking on the role and just what it is like to have little versions of you filling the store shelves at Toys R Us. But I warn you, the interview contains a few SPOILERS in regards to IRON MAN 2. While they may be slightly minor, you have officially been warned. And of course, get ready to see the Iron clad hero rockin’ and rollin’ again this Friday at a theatre near you.

Don Cheadle

I know you get the same questions regarding taking on the role, but I do have to ask was there ever any trepidation on taking on Rhodey in the beginning?

There was, from the producers, definitely, you know, people who were behind this film. But for me, once I said I was going to do it, I was going to be into it, you kind of just have to put the fear to the side and get on and work.

BEGIN SPOILERS

What I liked about Rhodey/War Machine was that many of your moments opposite Tony Stark; well they really represent what the film is about…

Yeah, I’d agree with that. And I know that that was the relationship and the situation that we were most carefully tracking because they are at odds for a large part of the film. They are not on the same team. How do we do this, how do we break them up, how do we get them back. How do we justify the actions? We don’t want Tony to go so far that we are like, please take [the suit] from him. But we also don’t want to have it be where there is no justification for him doing what he’s done.

Which is an interesting approach, after all one of the biggest battles is between you and a drunken Stark while you are trying to stop a party.

Yeah, yeah, trying to shut him down.

That was an awesome scene.

Yeah, that was a lot of fun. But really, it’s like figuring out how can we pull this off and make people not go, as I was saying before, Tony really needs to be [Laughing] taken out [Laughing]. But at the same time, people not thinking, ‘well what’s Rhodey’s problem, he’s going too far…’ It’s the trickiest part of the film to navigate.

END SPOILERS

I think so, ultimately isn’t IRON MAN 2 sort of the breakdown of the Iron Man family to a certain extent…?

Yeah.

Now until this point in your career, there really hasn’t been anything like IRON MAN 2? What was it like stepping into this world? Not only the effects, but stepping into the War Machine suit and taking on Rhodey, what was the biggest challenge for you?

Well I’ve done a film before that really wasn’t as successful, or in my opinion really that good, but it wasn’t my first experience doing the green screen thing. But it was definitely on a bigger scale than MISSION TO MARS was. And getting on top of another franchise which was very, very successful, so you really want to honor that and be cognizant of what had come before. But ultimately when you get about the business of what you are doing, it’s not unlike any other movie. Let the script be the guide and trust the team that is handling it, and get it done.

Well with that in mind, what were your thoughts when you finally were taking on War Machine? Was it exciting as an actor?

I was excited about it until I had to put on the metal, and then I went ‘Wow. This sucks!’ [Laughing] It’s a lot of fun, obviously to get to play out the boyhood fantasy of cowboys and Indians or whatever it is. Cops and robbers… whatever… we get to play spacemen and fly around in suits. But you’re not really doing it. But if they could find a way to let me really do it that would be great…

That’s for IRON MAN 3 right? It’s all going to be real next time around…

They’re going to physically enhance my body… if I can fly, that would be great!

As with any film of this sort you are going to have a bunch of toys made after you. Are you looking forward to bringing them home to your children?

Well they’re excited, they want to see them. I think it will be fun for a minute and then I’ll go, ‘uh, that’s kind of weird.’ [Laughing] At Toys R Us, see a bunch of tiny “Dons”…

Yeah exactly, it’s not like they went crazy with MISSION TO MARS toys…

Well they tried, but they didn’t go over so well. They had to discontinue them all.

This has to make up in a way for that experience. MISSION TO MARS being as poorly received as it was, now you are dealing with a film that is guaranteed to be one of the biggest films of the year, if not the biggest.

It is? From your lips man…

I’ve got my money on IRON MAN 2.

I’ll take it!

Now have you been involved with any talks on the future of Iron Man and the rest of the Marvel universe?

Well, I’ve signed a multi-picture deal and it’s all predicated on the success and the desire to see this character go forward. But even if it does happen, it’s gonna happen way down the road I imagine. There’s THOR, there is CAPTAIN AMERICA and AVENGERS… there’s going to be a lot of other Marvel things happening that they can do before they get to IRON MAN 3.

Let me know what you think. Send questions and/or comments to JimmyO@JoBlo.com.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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6:41PM on 05/04/2010

Amazing Actor.

Cheadle has done consistently great throughout his entire career. I dont like they replaced Howard, but they couldnt have found anyone better. Bring on Iron Man 2 and WAR MACHINE!!!
Cheadle has done consistently great throughout his entire career. I dont like they replaced Howard, but they couldnt have found anyone better. Bring on Iron Man 2 and WAR MACHINE!!!
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+3
5:32PM on 05/04/2010
This man is impossible not to like
This man is impossible not to like
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+7
12:32PM on 05/04/2010

cool...

I've always had respect for Mr. Cheadle. And when I heard he was going to replace Terrence Howard for the role of James Rhodes I was ecstatic. I always felt Howard wasn't quite the right fit for the role and not a strong enough actor to bounce lines off of Downey...but that's just me.
I've always had respect for Mr. Cheadle. And when I heard he was going to replace Terrence Howard for the role of James Rhodes I was ecstatic. I always felt Howard wasn't quite the right fit for the role and not a strong enough actor to bounce lines off of Downey...but that's just me.
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