Jeff Bridges: Working on ‘Iron Man’ drove me ‘absolutely crazy’


“Iron Man” was more like mad man for Jeff Bridges.

Almost 15 years later, Bridges got candid about why the 2008 Robert Downey Jr. film that launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe drove him “absolutely crazy.”

The Oscar winner, 72, looked back on his career with Vanity Fair and explained why he was taken aback by filming, director Jon Favreau and the script.

“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,” Bridges said.

Of the shoot, he said the filmmakers 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,’ ” said Bridges, who played supervillain Obadiah Stane alongside Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Then on the first day of filming, Bridges said that “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.’ “

Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee and Jeff Bridges arrive at the premiere of “Iron Man” on April 30, 2008, in Hollywood.
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“There was a lot of confusion about what our script was, what we were gonna say, you know?” he explained. “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.”

Due to the amount of uncertainty over the screenplay, Favreau, 55, opted to hire script consultants.

Bridges then recalled what the “Couple’s Retreat” star would say regarding hiring the scriptwriters. “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?’ ” he said.

“Iron Man” was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $585 million worldwide and spawned several sequels.
Zade Rosenthal

The father of three said all of the changes to the set “drove me absolutely crazy until I made a slight adjustment in my brain.”

“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,” he stated.

However, Bridges doesn’t regret signing up for the Marvel world. “For my money, that’s the best Marvel movie,” he concluded. “I know I’m biased, of course. But man, I thought it was a wonderful experience.”