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Bridges: First Iron Man Had No Script

Actor Jeff Bridges reveals that they only had a rough outline to work with for the first movie

Actor Jeff Bridges reveals that they only had a rough outline to work with for the first movie


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I have to say that one of my absolute favorite actors has to be Jeff Bridges. Ever since watching 'The Big Lebowski' I really thought that there were few actors as good as he. I did not think it was possible to reinforce my opinion of him until I saw him in Iron Man play Obadiah Stane. That performance only solidified his incredible acting abilities in my opinion. But wait, there is more! In a recent interview with InContention, the actor not only recounted his five decade long acting career, but he went into detail of the film process for the first Favreau directed Iron Man film. It was in this interview that the actor revealed that the film only had a rough outline, that it did not have a complete script. I think that was when my jaw hit the floor.

“They had no script, man,” Bridges exclaims. “They had an outline. We would show up for big scenes every day and we wouldn’t know what we were going to say. We would have to go into our trailer and work on this scene and call up writers on the phone, ‘You got any ideas?’ Meanwhile the crew is tapping their foot on the stage waiting for us to come on.”

Bridges, director Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. would literally act out sequences during primitive rehearsals, Downey taking on Bridges’s role and vice versa, to find and essentially improvise their way to full scenes, the actor recounts. Bridges says that the entire production was probably saved by the improv prowess of the film’s director and star.

“You’ve got the suits from Marvel in the trailer with us saying, ‘No, you wouldn’t say that,’” Bridges remembers. “You would think with a $200 million movie you’d have the shit together, but it was just the opposite. And the reason for that is because they get ahead of themselves. They have a release date before the script, ‘Oh, we’ll have the script before that time,’ and they don’t have their shit together.

“Jon dealt with it so well,” Bridges continues. “It freaked me out. I was very anxious. I like to be prepared. I like to know my lines, man, that’s my school. Very prepared. That was very irritating, and then I just made this adjustment. It happens in movies a lot where something’s rubbing against your fur and it’s not feeling right, but it’s just the way it is. You can spend a lot of energy bitching about that or you can figure out how you’re going to do it, how you’re going to play this hand you’ve been dealt. What you can control is how you perceive things and your thinking about it. So I said, ‘Oh, what we’re doing here, we’re making a $200 million student film. We’re all just fuckin’ around! We’re playin’. Oh, great!’ That took all the pressure off. ‘Oh, just jam, man, just play.’ And it turned out great!”

All I can say is, wow. I can vouch for having paid to see Iron Man in theater's three times, that is how much I loved the first film. To think that the people behind the film only had a general outline of a screenplay to work with and lacked a structured script is really incredible. If Favreau and Downey Jr. were able to deliver what is in my opinion, one of the (if not the) greatest super hero movie ever, then topping what the first film with the sequel should be no hard task. Does finding out that so much of the script was made up as they went along change your opinion of the film? Are you looking forward to the sequel? 

Iron Man 2 is set to hit theaters on May 7th, 2010.