Posted on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
Speaking to Robert Downey Jr. is an experience. There’s no other way to say it. Like a less obnoxious Robin Williams, his mind moves faster than ours can process, and even when he’s not giving you any valuable information about Captain America: Civil War, he certainly makes you feel like you did.
The actor was brought to the set of the Marvel sequel on a day he wasn’t filming, just to speak with us about the movie. And while he didn’t divulge any secrets, he gave plenty of kudos to Chris Evans and Paul Rudd, hoped we’d see Pepper Potts in the movie, talked about how they tried to steer away from any political motivations in the story, and revealed he’s the only one who cares about his helpful robots.
Check out our Captain America Civil War interview with Robert Downey Jr. after the jump.
Control, Control, Control
Tony Stark’s character arc has seen him attempting to maintain control, whether it’s with his life or the world, using his technology as a cocoon of protection. And even though he seemed to step away from that at the end of Iron Man 3, it seems that the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and some unknown catalyst in Captain America: Civil War will have him realizing that maybe he shouldn’t be the one to control everything. That’s why he comes to support the Sokivia Accords’ call for some kind of oversight for the superhero team that doesn’t necessarily involve him having more control.
I think what’s interesting is not so much that he’s looking for more control but that he’s saying that as a group of individuals we all require a little bit more supervision than we might imagine. And that for me was just a really straight line, because I don’t like words coming out of a character’s mouth that I adore because not only is he a little bit duplicitous but he’s kind of practical in the way he thinks, and he thinks in terms of everyone’s humanity and how quickly we can go against what we think we meant when we said it or what we believe or blah, blah, blah.
This Isn’t a Story About Politics
Downey doesn’t dive too deep into these details because he notes that in conversing with directors Joe & Anthony Russo, they “didn’t want was a story that’s just a bunch of ideologue nonsense going back and forth because it’s like, ‘Why are you guys talking? We like it when you’re doing witty stuff or when you’re in a weird position or when you’re really hurting or when you’re fighting.'” It was important that the movie just didn’t become about politics, especially in the eyes of Tony Stark.
For someone like Tony Stark, someone who used to be much more reckless, this isn’t just a sudden change of heart. There’s something that’s driving him, and he doesn’t just blindly support the Sokovia Accords just because it’s what needs to be done for the story. Downey explains:
I didn’t wanna be like, ‘Alright, what’s good for the story?’ Tony’s all of a sudden like, ‘You know what? These Accords mean the world to me,’ because that’s usually what people do when they get on something, and I don’t wanna say I despise politics, but I don’t think there’s any way to win – particularly for the kind of person that I am – a political argument. And what did Emerson say, ‘Tell me someone’s political leanings and I’ll tell you everything else about him?’ And I like to be a little more difficult to nail down than that just inside myself, but when someone’s motivations, even if they wind up falling in one side or the other of the debate, when they’re personal and also when they’re masked by something that only the audience knows is really their motivation, that to me is just what I call entertainment.
On the next page Robert Downey Jr. talks about his hope that Pepper Potts will have a stronger presence, and also how Chris Evans is doing all the heavy lifting in this one, and he’s pretty happy about that.