Though Jeff Bridges fondly remembers shooting “Iron Man,” he also recalls that it drove him “absolutely crazy.”
The actor explained in an interview Thursday with Vanity Fair that studio interference initially muddled the creative process on set. Thought Bridges, co-star Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau had worked on countless films before, “Iron Man” was Marvel’s debut.
“It was Marvel’s first adventure into making movies,” Bridges said. “It was so lucky to have Jon on there and Downey, because both of them are terrific improvisers, and we spent a couple of weeks working on the script and rehearsing together, because we didn’t like the original script.”
Bridges, who was still three years away from winning his first Oscar when “Iron Man” began filming in 2007, recalled what a relief it was to tinker with the script beforehand. He said he, Downey and Favreau looked at the script, “and we thought, ‘Oh, yeah, we fixed this, fixed that.'”
“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,'” Bridges said. “And so there was a lot of confusion about what our script was, what we were going to say.”
“We’d spend hours in one of our trailers going over lines and exploring how we were going to do it. It drove me absolutely crazy until I made a slight adjustment in my brain that was, ‘Jeff, just relax. You’re making a $200 million student film. Just relax and have fun.'”
That certainly seemed to work, as “Iron Man” grossed $585 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. It ushered in an era of lucrative comic-book movies that has yet to stop and launched Marvel as a cinematic force that has since earned more than $25 billion at the worldwide box office.
The studio’s later efforts, such as “Black Panther,” have since far outgrossed “Iron Man.” In 2019, “Avengers: Endgame” became the highest-grossing film of all time until a theatrical re-release of James Cameron’s “Avatar” surpassed it.
Bridges, however, isn’t focused on the money — and said “Iron Man” was still the “best Marvel movie.”