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Iron Man 3

Engineering Iron Man 3: Guy Pearce

The mysterious Aldrich Killian talks Extremis & more!

By Nikki Griffin

Guy Pearce stars as Aldrich Killian in "Iron Man 3"

When Tony Stark returns to the big screen in Marvel's "Iron Man 3" tomorrow, he'll have a new rival in Aldrich Killian, played by the exceptionally talented Guy Pearce.

The film opens with an encounter between a hopelessly nerdy and painfully socially awkward Killian and the suave Tony Stark that proves as embarrassing as it is life altering for Pearce's character.

"I guess it is the final straw for him," notes Pearce of Killian and Stark's encounter. "He's probably been shamed many times. He’s probably had people slam doors in his face before. I feel like he’s so eager and naïve and annoying and caught up in his own enthusiasm of Maya Hansen, that he is really just blind to the reactions of those around him. You just always want to be able to say to them, ‘Hey, guy, grow up. Get it together.’”

"Iron Man 3" in theatesr & IMAX 3D May 3

Though Killian may be blind to the reactions of others, he also benefits from staying out of the social world.

"He realizes that being anonymous is kind of a good thing, that he can hide behind that anonymity," remarks Pearce. "He can rule the world from behind the scenes. Ironically, once he gets the Extremis in his system, he becomes the peacock. He is probably less anonymous then, than ever before. He’s a bit more dashing, and he has people noticing him. So, in a way, he is kind of doing the opposite of having been shamed in the first place. I think his ego gets carried away with it. It is an interesting trajectory for the character.”

It's easy to dismiss Killian as unhinged, but the actor has to be able to find truth in his character, no matter how twisted that truth turns out to be.

Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) & Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) in "Iron Man 3"

“I always have to be able to make it make sense," reveals Pearce. "I have to get to the bottom of it, even if it is just a fear of something that is driving him, or a survival technique, whatever it happens to be. So, with Killian, because we see him at the beginning, we get to sort of see the kind of annoying, ambitious, irritating, naïve guy that he is. Then you see what he becomes. It was easy for me to understand that sort of propulsion would be hard to give up on. With any increase in ability or stature, it could become an unstoppable train. One’s ego could get carried away with that. It made sense to me.”


Marvel's "Iron Man 3" pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, "Iron Man 3" is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce and Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic super hero Iron Man, who first appeared in the pages of TALES OF SUSPENSE #39 in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1 in May of 1968.

"Iron Man 3" is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios' President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D'Esposito, Stephen Broussard, Victoria Alonso, Alan Fine, Charles Newirth, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film releases May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

In addition to "Iron Man 3," Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Thor: The Dark World" on November 8, 2013; "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" on April 4, 2014; "Guardians of the Galaxy" on August 1, 2014; the untitled "Marvel's The Avengers" sequel on May 1, 2015; and "Ant-Man" on November 6, 2015.

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