When the world recalls Iron Man, it hardly comes close to the recollections of Jeff Bridges of the time he spent on the sets of the Marvel production. The Big Lebowski actor in a retrospective interview with Vanity Fair remembers the time he had arrived on day one of shooting and Marvel threw out the script saying it was no good. Iron Man has remained a franchise-founding and genre-redefining film and can be hailed as Marvel Studios’ greatest origin and success story.
Jeff Bridges Comments On MCU’s 2008 Iron Man Filming
Iron Man came out in theatres 14 years ago and the film became the harbinger of greatness for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the years to come. Robert Downey Jr.’s career low had gotten a kickstart and along with Jon Favreau, the extraordinary pair created gold out of sawdust. The 2008 movie skyrocketed RDJ’s fame and established him securely in Hollywood and in the coming years, he only became increasingly adored as he soon gained a reputation as the “Godfather of MCU”.
The highly talented Jeff Bridges, too, was a sight to witness in the superhero origin movie. His role as the trustworthy friend turned villain, Obadiah Stane, was impeccable and even though the audience rarely witnesses the cracks behind the film screen, Bridges assures in his career retrospective interview that there were some.
“It was Marvel’s first adventure into making movies. It was so lucky to have Jon on there and [Robert] Downey, because both of them are so, they’re terrific improvisers, and we spent a couple of weeks working on the script and rehearsing together, because we didn’t like the original script and we thought, ‘Oh yeah, we fixed this, fixed that.
And then came the first day of shooting, and Marvel kind of threw out our script that we had been working on, said, ‘No, that’s no good. It’s got to be this and that.’ And so there was a lot of confusion about what our script was, what we were gonna say, you know? And we’d spend hours in one of our trailers going over lines, and saying ‘Oh you play my part or I’ll play your part,’ exploring how we were going to do it.”
Jeff Bridges Recalls the Maddening Process of Iron Man
When 2008 rolled in, Marvel Studios was already caving in on itself and preparing to cower behind its meager successes before going into hibernation. Kevin Feige’s appointment as the president of Marvel’s production in 2007 allowed him to envision a future for the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the core members of the Avengers in tow. He began implementation of that vision when he planned out a strategic reboot of the MCU with Iron Man at its helm and hired Jon Favreau to do the job.
Related article: 5 Unscripted and Improvised Scenes In The MCU
However, the visionary producer’s influence was still limited and Bridges claims Marvel didn’t make it any easier for him either. The Oscar-winning actor recalls, “Jon would say, ‘Oh, I know a writer. Let me see; he may have some ideas…’ Meanwhile, the crew is in the sound stage, tapping their feet saying, ‘When are we going to get this thing going?'”
“It drove me absolutely crazy until I made a slight adjustment in my brain, and that adjustment was, ‘Jeff, just relax. You’re making a $200 million student film. Just relax and have fun.’ And that kind of did the trick because here I get to play with these two incredible artists and just jam, and that’s what we ended up doing.”
Jeff Bridges concludes the interview by stating, “For my money, that’s the best Marvel movie. I know I’m biased, of course. But man, I thought it was a wonderful experience.”
Source: Vanity Fair