Robert Downey Jr has recalled the perils of filming in a metal super-suit during production of the hit 2008 Marvel film Iron Man.
The actor played the role of Tony Stark in Iron Man, reprising the character in several sequels and spin-offs across the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Speaking to David Letterman on a forthcoming episode of Letterman’s Netflix talk show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Downey Jr explained that when Iron Man was still being made, the project faced budget constraints.
“Initially, everything was really there,” Downey tells Letterman. “They wanted to spend as little as they could on CG replacement, so I remember this helmet went on, and there’d be a shot, and I’d be in this whole suit, and they’d say: ‘Alright, Robert, it’s like you landed on the roof, so when we say action, just go like that, like you just landed, and then start moving forward.’
“So I put this helmet on, and it slammed closed, and I couldn’t see anything, and then these LED lights went on and it was like The Manchurian Candidate… I was absolutely blinded.”
The film was a hit, however, and subsequent MCU films (after Disney purchased Marvel in 2009) enjoyed the luxury of improved CGI technology and greater budgets.
“By the time we were doing the last Avengers,” said Downey Jr, “they’d just be like, ‘Hey, Robert, would you mind putting on—’ ‘Helmet?! No! Yes, no. Put two dots here, and then you can paint it in later.’”