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Iron Man 2 Movie

Iron Man 2 Up Close: Don Cheadle

Tony Stark's best friend James "Rhodey" Rhodes steps into the armored boots of War Machine

"Iron Man 2" has arrived on the big screen for all to see, and here at Marvel.com we're dedicated to getting you so close to the action you'll feel like you're decked out in your own suit of armor! Our series of "'Iron Man 2' Up Close'" articles will get you in the heads of the key folks working to bring you this blockbuster-today we've got Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle, but be sure to check out all our interviews with Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Justin Theroux and Kevin Feige ! Enjoy!


By Zack Zeigler

Here's a rule: Be prepared to bring the pain at all times if your nickname is War Machine, even if your suit of armor feels like anything but a comfy pair of sweatpants.

Don Cheadle as War Machine
"[The War Machine suit] was heavy, hot, not elegant, but it [was] necessary," said Don Cheadle at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con. Continuing that thought at the "Iron Man 2" press junket in Los Angeles: "I don't know why, but the War Machine suit was actually made of metal and [the Iron Man suit] was made of light, fiberglass material. I think it was just an initiation thing."  

Actually, it had nothing to do with busting the actor's chops, but instead was used for aesthetic purposes.

"It's almost impossible to get that mirror-like look of a polished metal with CGI," Robert Downey Jr. revealed, adding "I would not wish [wearing that suit] on an enemy."

Another challenge for the role involved Rhodey's complex friendship with Downey's character, Tony Stark.

"[Rhodey] is in the chain of command, a military man, a career man... Tony Stark is a rogue cat who is potentially doing harm sometimes [by]

Don Cheadle as James Rhodes
doing his own thing," Cheadle said. "So how does this affect a friendship? That's what every scene we had together was really dealing with: this push-pull dynamic. He's trying to respect his friend but at the same time convince him to do the right thing."  

Those ideological rifts at times put the two characters at odds, and finding balance to display the emotional struggle with loyalty for duty and country would mean tough decisions must be made. Finding ways to project that onscreen meant picking the director's brain-a lot.

"Don Cheadle is a very intelligent, very talented guy, who asked a lot of smart, tough questions and that's my favorite kind of actor," said Jon Favreau in the film's production notes. "Whenever Don was curious about something it usually turned out to be because it was a beat in a scene that wasn't totally thought through."

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