3:00 pm EDT, April 23, 2013

‘Iron Man 3’ press conference: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Sir Ben Kingsley, more!

Iron Man 3 doesn’t hit theaters worldwide for another few days, and American viewers still have just under two weeks to go until their favorite Avenger hits the big screen for the fourth time. Luckily, the stars were available yesterday to help us to keep the rabid fans at bay until they can experience the film for themselves.

Hypable was present at a press conference in Beverly Hills to report on what the stars had to say about Iron Man 3, which was screened to Hypable and a number of other film journalists over the weekend.

The journalists then joined the press conference to chat with Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Sir Ben Kingsley (The Mandarin), Don Cheadle (James “Rhodey” Rhodes), Rebecca Hall (Maya Hansen), Guy Pearce (Aldrich Killian), and writer/director Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) about the film, including what what they were trying to do with it and what they expect from audiences.

Right off the bat, a few shocking scenes from Iron Man 3 that feature explosions in familiar landmarks were brought up in an attempt to parallel the film with recent world events.

Robert Downey Jr. responded with his usual fervor, but roundly refused to discuss real-life politics during the conference. “I’d like to speak for all of us and say ‘I like entertainers to talk about entertainment,'” said Downey. “I think that in a sidebar it’s different, but I think at this level, it’s kinda – everyone is having their own personal feelings about it.”

iron-man-3-pepper-potts“With the events of the last week, I’ve been asked if there were any allusions between what’s happening in the real world and what’s happening in the film and [if] we’re trying to make a statement,” said Cheadle.

“Clearly this movie was in the can before anything transpired in the past week,” said Cheadle. “The job of this film is to entertain. We wanted to give people the ability to go into a dark room and have a couple of hours of pure enjoyment.”

Indeed, the world is a scary place not only in our reality, but the semi-realistic world that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has laid out in front of us. During the course of the film, a number of missiles are sent in Tony Stark’s direction, and a number of things explode, but Gwyneth Paltrow says that the film offered the opportunity this unfortunate truth of the world to her son.

“We do live in an unsafe world, that’s the truth. I’m dealing with this now with my seven year old. He’s sort of grappling with the fact that the world is unsafe and there are people who do harmful things,” said Paltrow. “I know that after my children saw the movie, I had a certain conversation with my son about it.”

The movie will certainly leave a number of intricate details up to parents to explain, including the influence of major corporations, the current social climate of fear, and the super-tricky role that The Mandarin plays in the plot.

“A movie is only as good as its bad guy,” said Downey. “Once we cast Sir Ben, half our troubles went away, and then the other half had to do with him executing this very peculiar and awesome arc.”

Indeed, Kingsley had a truly groundbreaking motivation behind his villain, and he had no trouble going in deep detail with us at Hypable in order to help us gain a full understanding of what we had just seen him do.

iron-man-3-mandarin“I tried to give The Mandarin, in his political broadcasts, a rather unnerving sense of righteousness, make him almost paternalistic, patriarchal, and that’s where the timbre of his delivery comes from,” said Kingsley to Hypable.

“His weird iconography was there to disconcert and completely scatter any expectations of where he might be coming from. The line, ‘You will never see me coming’ voices the unpredictability that he has.”

Unpredictable is definitely the word to describe Kingsley’s Mandarin, and we bugged him further about how much of the character he was able to improvise.

“It’s all in the script, It’s a great script, it was a wonderful read, and we stuck very closely to it,” said Kingsley. “Whenever we do improvise, it’s minimal, just to maybe sharpen one or two of the ideas that we were playing with on the set, but it’s all there.”

We at Hypable were particularly interested in the unique take that Iron Man 3 has on the character of The Mandarin, and writer/director Shane Black (who has called the character a “racist caricature” in the past) stepped up to explain his innovative take on the classic villain.

iron-man-3-press-conference-shane-black“I just thought it was an interesting idea to try to mix it up. If you’re gonna do something that involves a terrorist in a modern world who’s just sort of a villain, just a guy we’re all afraid of, why not say something about the entire experience of what it would take for instance, to create a myth that was all things to all people,” explained Black. “He surround himself in icons that are recognizable like the beard from Fidel Castro and the field cap from Gaddafi.”

The full response gets a little too spoilery to continue, and we’ll update this story as Iron Man 3 hits theaters and viewers are exposed to the groundbreaking character evolution themselves.

Click here to read more from Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Shane Black, and more!

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