Don Cheadle on Rhodey’s recovery and suiting up for Infinity War
Some may have balked at the idea that there weren’t actual casualties in Captain America: Civil War, but that conflict was more about the death of a dream and the death of a partnership than an actual battle. There was one big fallout from the movie though, as Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes found himself paralyzed and having to learn to walk again. Speaking on the set of Avengers: Infinity War, with a new pair of Stark-branded leg braces, Cheadle spoke to us about his character’s road to recovery and why he’s back at all for the next fight.
“Clearly there was a pretty significant moment for Rhodey at the end of ‘Civil War,’ where he was accidentally shot out of the air by Vision, who is now my mortal enemy… No, I think we worked it out over the break.”
Previously, even if it meant going up against his best friend in the Iron Man movies, Rhodey hasn’t had a difficult time putting on the suit. Now, he just might.
“That’s gonna be a thing for him to put that suit back on,” Cheadle says. “Last time he was in it, it didn’t go so well… I think it’s something that he’s fighting to put behind him. But absolutely, it creeps up. Don’t want certain people behind me. I’m gonna keep a eye on everybody, I wanna keep that jewel in front of me, not behind me.”
The threat this time around is more dire for The Avengers than their Civil War was, what with Thanos attempting to destroy half of all life in the universe. Rhodey’s reaction to all of this might be the best considering his skillset.
“I think as always we’ve seen that Rhodey would prefer to deal with real-world things and that’s kind of what he understands,” Cheadle jokes. “And when we start leaving the planet and talking about things coming from outer space, he’s like, ‘Dude, I don’t even know what that, what is that? I know how to fight guys and in tanks and weapons and that. I’m… don’t, that’s something that’s beyond my pay grade.’ But he’s been thrown into the deep end, so they all are in a way in this one. So everybody’s gonna have to figure it out on their feet.
In fact, it’s Rhodey’s journey that will be one of the major carry overs from Civil War, the heroes know that they can get hurt.
“I think the stakes have been raised, and we understand that we’re not invincible and superheroes can go down.”
We should note, however, that Cheadle’s interview with us on set was not all doom and gloom. He opened up about how the various groupings of characters on screen leads to the actors having more fun with each other and riffing, something he and Mark Ruffalo had been doing in the scene that was being shot that day.
“I think there’s probably a bit of a nightmare for the Russo’s is (we’re) always trying to come up with some shtick, some bit, something to do. For me it’s fun and it keeps the frame alive. But for them probably they’re like, ‘Guys, can you just say the lines that we wrote in the script?’ But look, whenever you have all of us back together again and we haven’t seen each other for a while, there’s feels like there’s a period of like kind of giddiness. Everyone’s kind of catching up and we’re performing for each other a lot of times. Trying to crack each other up and be there in those kinds of ways for each other. So it’s always fun coming back. And yeah, if we’re thinking of the same guy who Ruffalo is, yeah, we came up with a little thing to do.”
Marvel‘s Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters on April 27.
Check back here on Monday for our interview with Paul Bettany (The Vision) and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) from the set of Avengers: Infinity War!