Interviewer: What would you say Tony Stark and Robert Downey, Jr. have in common?
Robert Downey, Jr.: Well, we love each other! Tony Stark is very good to me. Also, like Tony, I think I'm a daring man. And this is brilliant, what Stan Lee did with creating Iron Man
way back. He created him on a dare-a dare that you could take a military industrial, complex billionaire, womanizer in a time when all that stuff was not cool. He was the man. You take the man and you give him such a metaphor womb that he doesn't turn it around. In fact, he goes half crazy by it, and by that flip comes out of one denial and get into another denial, being that you can't affect direct change. And he puts himself in danger. But we tried to get rid of some of the preachy side of my character at times. I would change dialogue sometimes as well.
AM: Tony Stark is brilliant like you...
RDJ: He is someone who inherited a massive responsibility, and he is very industrial. I make faces with cash and chicken, and lost myself for years. There is something about that--I always felt like this intangible thing, me. There is this Howard Hughes thing. If nothing else, I can relate to someone who thinks in a different way and try to make a difference. And at times, he is also having a spiritual awakening, and I can relate to that because I've been through that. What happened to him was his own doing to the contrary to Batman or Spiderman. It's due to his own naivet?, his own inability to come out of denial and see what effects he has on life. It's a karma type of superhero.
AM: Do you think the movie is more about Tony Stark or Iron Man?
RDJ: Well, Tony Stark is Iron Man, but he doesn't know it until he becomes it. Even when he becomes Iron Man, he doesn't really stop being Tony Stark. He doesn't become nice out of the blue to "Pepper." He still snaps at her.
AM: Did you have to get in shape to be in Iron Man?
RDJ: Oh yeah! I had to be in top shape, and I did lots of training and I did some of my stunts, and it was quite a challenge. The Iron Man armor was quite heavy, and it was pretty tricky at times. Also, it was hard to see through the helmet, and it made it difficult for my marking and the overall shooting. But I survived it, and I think it looks fantastic.
AM: Did they custom-tailor the suit to you?
RDJ: No, they probably tailored it to the tallest, unshaped stuntman.
AM: Did you get hurt during the shooting?
RDJ: Not really. And plus, you train in a way that you don't really know how injured you are. I trained for a year with lots of weight training. It took me 18 months to get to Tony's shape.
AM: Will you be ready for Iron Man 2?
RDJ: You bet! I'll be back!