‘Iron Man’ Star Was Driven “Absolutely Crazy” When Working With Robert Downey Jr.

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Tony Stark shows Arc Reactor to Obadiah in 'Iron Man'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Iron Man (2008) was the Marvel movie that changed cinemas forever. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, and Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger starred in the very first entry in Marvel Cinematic Universe directed by Jon Favreau. But not everyone remembers the experience as fondly as others.

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robert downey jr as tony stark iron man marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios

Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges recently starred in The Old Man on FX with John Lithgow. He has starred in many great movies like Tron (1982), The Big Lebowski (1998), True Grit (2010), and Hell or High Water (2016). But Marvel fans will never forget him as the MCU’s first villain Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger, in Iron Man. 

Jeff Bridges recently sat down with Variety to reflect on his appearance in the Marvel Universe, which has moved from Obadiah Stane’s attempt to take over Stark Industries to Avengers-level threats like Thanos (Josh Brolin) and the new Marvel Multiverse.

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jeff bridges as obadiah stane in iron man marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has planned the next two phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Bridges reveals that the whole MCU started as a disorganized mess.

Bridges told Variety:

“It was Marvel’s first adventure into making movies. It was so lucky to have Jon on there and [Robert] Downey, because both of them are terrific improvisers, and we spent a couple of weeks working on the script and rehearsing together, because we didn’t like the original script and we thought, ‘Oh yeah, we fixed this, fixed that.”

He added: 

“Then came the first day of shooting, and Marvel kind of threw out our script that we had been working on, said, ‘No, that’s no good. It’s got to be this and that. And so there was a lot of confusion about what our script was, what we were gonna say. We’d spend hours in one of our trailers going over lines and exploring how we were going to do it.”

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robert downey jr as iron man
Credit: Marvel Studios

Bridges still calls Iron Man the best Marvel Movie but said it got to the point where:

“It drove me absolutely crazy until I made a slight adjustment in my brain that was, ‘Jeff, just relax. You’re making a $200 million student film. Just relax and have fun. And that kind of did the trick because here I get to play with these two incredible artists and just jam, and that’s what we ended up doing.”

Robert Downey Jr. went on to take Iron Man to Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and his death in Avengers: Endgame (2018). He was the highest-paid Marvel actor, and the MCU still feels the impact of Tony Stark.

That first film was a major gamble for the fledgling movie studio, and while Star Wars’ The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau returned for Iron Man 2, which introduced Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), the culture behind the camera was radically different. Favreau said Marvel Studios was much more involved in Iron Man 2, an issue that many directors who came after him, like Edgar Wright, also had.

Let us know in the comments if you think Jeff Bridges could return to the MCU?

You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and the seven series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight, and Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel  — on Disney+ anytime

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