Normally I’m not starstruck but when Robert Downey Jr. joined Jon Favreau for the commentary edition of the Iron Man screening at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica last Saturday, I couldn’t help but squeal with delight. He emerged from the shadows at the back of the theater and took the stage to a standing ovation. Eeeee! I was in the same room with the guy who stole the movie from Ben Stiller in Tropic Thunder, the actor who made Tony Stark of Iron Man a lovable (and sexy) war monger…AND he was in Weird Science!
RDJ and Favreau provided a running commentary while the movie was playing. It was awesome, even to the few folks in the audience who’ve never seen the summer blockbuster before. We got to hear how some of the great moments of the movie came to be; most were improv or written just moments before filming, if you can believe that. Unfortunately, the Iron Man DVD, which comes out September 30, for some odd reason will not feature an audio commentary so we felt very lucky to be in the audience for this.
During the movie, the boys joked about Jeff Bridges’ slow-delivery-for-dramatic-effect technique and poked fun at plot holes. We got to hear about how the Middle Eastern-esque bad guys in the movie are played by really great guys in real life who have to add six hours to their air travel time to anywhere. Every now and then Downey Jr. would slip into Kirk Lazarus playing Osiris in Tropic Thunder. Twas funny. The audience was giddy.
After the screening, the two took the stage for a too-brief five-minute Q&A where they talked about Iron Man 2 and how they’re very excited that the second part of this series is written by Justin Theroux, co-writer of Tropic Thunder, and will be filmed in California.
Favreau discussed how RDJ wasn’t Marvel’s first choice. In fact they didn’t want him for the part of Tony Stark at all.
RDJ shares what rehearsals for the movie was like. Starts off talking about Jeff Bridges and then Gwyneth Paltrow.
Favreau talks about his push to film in California.
Favreau talking about how he’s handling the storyline for Iron Man 2.
Moments like this are par for the course at the Aero, which regularly presents movie screenings with Q&As featuring the movie’s directors and actors, in-person tributes, and screenings of rare prints. It pays to be a member of American Cinematheque, which supports the Egyptian Theatre in addition to the Aero. As a member (which is $60 individual/$50 student) you get a heads-up of amazing upcoming events, discounted tickets and more. At the day of this particular event, only six tickets were still available at 6pm when the Aero’s box office opened and they were promptly sold. Good thing we got the heads-up weeks ago.