Terrence Howard on Iron Man

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Terrence Howard will play Jim “Rhodey” Rhodes in Marvel Studios’ Iron Man, which starts filming on March 12, and ComingSoon.net got a chance to ask the actor about playing the title character’s confidante. Rhodes, a high ranking military officer and aviator, steers the team that develops the robotic suit that allows the sickly hero to fly around and battle bad guys.

CS/SHH!: Can you talk about going into “Iron Man” which is a total fantasy world?
Terrence Howard: Not when you’re working with Robert Downey Jr.; there’s no fantasy about that. You’re talking about getting ready for some action, ’cause what I love about him and [director] Jon Favreau is you cannot predict who they are and what they’re thinking. And then you add Jeff Bridges to the mix; I still think about the film he did with Kevin Spacey. He’s from another planet because he’s present, but then he’s in front of you at the same time. And then you’ve got Gwyneth Paltrow, so there’s nothing fantastical about it. It’s like, “You say you want to be an actor?” Every single one of these people have been nominated or have won an Academy Award, so now let’s see what you’re made of.

CS/SHH!: Talk about your character in “Iron Man.”
Howard: I play a guy named James Rhodes, who becomes War Machine, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force. I’m the liaison between Starks Enterprises and the military in the department of acquisitions.

CS/SHH!: Have you seen the costumes for “Iron Man”?
Howard: We didn’t do the costumes yet; I haven’t seen any of Tony Stark’s costumes, but the outfits these people had on were amazing, they were beautiful. I took this role and I wanted to work with Robert Downey because he has a spontaneity and a fearlessness that I get close to. But I’m still very conservative and reserved than the film choices I make; he doesn’t care, he just does it. He believes jump out of an aircraft at 25,000 feet in the air and just go “wooooooooo” all the way down – I want to learn that, I want to learn that.

Paramount will distribute Iron Man on May 2, 2008. Howard can next be seen in Pride, opening March 23.

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