Robert Downey Jr. looks back on being 'absolutely blinded' by the original Iron Man suit
With Avengers: Endgame reigning as the highest-grossing film of all time, it's easy to forget the Marvel Cinematic Universe's humble beginnings.
In an exclusive clip from season 3 of Netflix's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, MCU star Robert Downey Jr. recalls the scrappy days shooting the original Iron Man movie, before Marvel was owned by Disney and real money to blow on visual effects.
"Initially, everything was really there," Downey tells Letterman. "They wanted to spend as little as they could on CG replacement, so I remember this helmet went on, and there’d be a shot, and I’d be in this whole suit, and they’d say: 'All right, Robert, it's like you landed on the roof, so when we say action, just go like that, like you just landed, and then start moving forward.' So I put this helmet on, and it slammed closed, and I couldn’t see anything, and then these LED lights went on and it was like The Manchurian Candidate… I was absolutely blinded."
The temporary vision impairment proved to be worth it, though, when the film became a major success. A few billion-dollar grosses later, and the studio had a budget that meant Downey didn't have to jam his head into the Iron Man costume anymore. "By the time we were doing the last Avengers, they'd just be like, 'Hey, Robert, would you mind putting on—' 'Helmet?! No! Yes, no. Put two dots here, and then you can paint it in later.'"
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