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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 08/ 8/2009

Quick Hit: 'Iron Man 2's' Sam Rockwell Discusses His Call to Arms

By Michael Cavna

This time around, Jon Favreau had just a wee bit bigger role to offer Sam Rockwell.

Eight years ago, Rockwell played an uncredited hotel clerk in the Favreau-directed "Made." This time out, though, Favreau called on the actor to play prominent arms dealer Justin Hammer in "Iron Man 2."

Today, Comic Riffs concludes our Week of Starkapalooza -- wall-to-wall "Iron Man 2" -- with a few words from Rockwell, whom we caught up with at San Diego Comic-Con during media roundtable sessions for the film. Rockwell -- who's won acclaim for his work in such films as "Choke," "Moon," "Lawn Dogs" and "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" -- touched on both his childhood fandom of comics, and the new movie's deviation from them.


Sam Rockwell (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)


ON HIS WILDLY VARIED CHOICE OF ROLES:
"I just like to break it up a little. l like actors like Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman, who go back and forth and have an eclectic choice of parts."

ON HIS COMICS FANDOM AS A YOUTH:
"I had a suitcase of comic books as a kid. I read Spider-Man, and the Hulk was probably my favorite character. I watched the Bill Bixby show."

ON CHANGING JUSTIN HAMMER'S APPEARANCE -- FROM A ELDERLY BRIT OF THE COMICS TO A YOUNGER AMERICAN IN "IRON MAN 2":
"We were talking about a smoking jacket and an ascot and were messing around with the idea of slicking his hair back, but we decided to invent our own thing. It's really open to interpretation.

ON HOW HE WOULD CHARACTERIZE HAMMER'S RELATIONSHIP WITH TONY STARK:"You get the impression that they're rivals. A Bill Gates/ Steve Jobs kind of thing.:

ON WORKING WITH MICKEY ROURKE, WHO PLAYS A MORE SUBDUED WHIPLASH:
"I do a lot of the talking [in] those scenes. Mickey is just reacting to my whirling dervish."



Elsewhere...

GEEK BUZZ -- SUPERHEROES: Seth Rogen and Michel Gondry have their Kato.

Asian popster Jay Chou will reportedly play the famed sidekick -- a role once inhabited by the inimitable Bruce Lee in 1974 -- in the new big-screen version of "The Green Hornet," the Hollywood Reporter says. Chou, who reportedly got the gig after Stephen Chow decided not to be involved, said inheriting the Lee role was "overwhelming."

Rogen and Evan Goldberg co-wrote the film, which is based on George Trendle's radio series and is scheduled to come out in 2010.


THE RELATED READ:

JON FAVREAU: How the "Iron Man 2" Director Uses Twitter

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.: The 'Iron Man' star discusses on-set chemistry with Favreau.

DON CHEADLE: 'Iron Man' newcomer revs up the War Machine.

TWENTY QUESTIONS: What We Learned From Hollywood's Comic-Con 'Sneaks'

By Michael Cavna  | August 8, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  San Diego Comic-Con, Superheroes, The Holly Word  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: So Many Characters So Pretty in Pink. John Hughes, May You R.I.P
Next: 'Dick Cheney' Orders a Hit on Michael Vick: Why YOU Won't See It

Comments

Michael,

Although Bruce Lee's image made an appearance in the 1974 "The Green Hornet" it was all taken from the 1966 TV show of the same name. The movie was several episodes of the TV show edited together to make a feature. Lee died in 1973 and I wouldn't be surprised if this patched together movie wasn't made to take advantage of his death.

Posted by: elyrest | August 8, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

>> elyrest:

Indeed, *thanks* for raising this. Seemed to me that both "Green Hornet" (the big-screen patch job) and the eventual "Game of Death" (the semi-patch job) capitalized on Lee's '73 death. (A few years ago, I finally caught some original footage from "G.O.D." and watching Lee spar with pupil Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was great viewing.)

I first saw Lee's Kato on TV's "Batman" (a relative knew the Adam West family). Trendle developed (spun off?) TV's "GH" a year later.

For me, though (and some members of my teenage dojo), nothing will ever surpass "Enter the Dragon" for favorite Lee scenes.

--M.C.

Posted by: cavnam | August 8, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

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