jeff_bridges_iron_man

Can’t you just hear the headline quote above intoned in The Dude’s spacey tones? You may have heard about the fact that Iron Man came together more or less without a solid script, but according to Jeff Bridges it was definitely ‘less.’ Read his take on the shoot, which essentially sounds like the actors and Jon Favreau improvised big segments of the movie, after the break.

In Contention has a long, fantastic interview with Bridges that both highlights his current work in Crazy Heart and acts as a serious career overview. The most attention-getting stuff in there relates to Iron Man, however. How so? Check it:

“They had no script, man! They had an outline,” says Bridges. “We would show up for big scenes every day and we wouldn’t know what we were going to say.” In Contention’s Kris Tapley summarizes some of the actor’s description of the process:

Bridges, director Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. would literally act out sequences during primitive rehearsals, Downey taking on Bridges’s role and vice versa, to find and essentially improvise their way to full scenes, the actor recounts. Bridges says that the entire production was probably saved by the improv prowess of the film’s director and star.

The process, according to Bridges, was a product of the modern practice of setting a release date before anything else is in place. Basically, the movie had to be made, and was going to be made, and that’s that. Marvel guys would throw some input suggesting what the characters would or wouldn’t say, and otherwise it sounds very seat of the pants.

I hate to distract from Crazy Heart, which should really be the topic here, but what this all leads to is a deeper appreciation of Jon Favreau and Robert Downey, Jr. A few blockbusters have gone before cameras in the last few years with shaky scripts or no script, and none have come out even vaguely as entertaining as Iron Man. If Bridges isn’t exaggerating (always possible) I’m even more impressed with the behind the scenes work than I had been to begin with.

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