Iron Man 2 Interviews from SDCC: Sam Rockwell

Iron Man 2 Interviews from SDCC: Sam Rockwell

Brent Sprecher talks to the cast of Iron Man 2 at the San Diego Comic-Con 2009! In this installment: Sam Rockwell!

By bsprecher - Jul 26, 2009 09:07 PM EST
Filed Under: Iron Man 2

With the Hall H applause still ringing in my ears, I proceeded upstairs to a private set of roundtable interviews with the cast of Iron Man 2. Up first, was Sam Rockwell, who plays Justin Hammer, Tony Stark's competitor and, later, his adversary.

When asked about the character of Justin Hammer, Rockwell said:

"He's an arms dealer and he's a Tony Stark wannabe, you know. I think he's awesome. He's great, following in the footsteps of Jeff Bridges and Bill Murray in Kingpin and a few other adversaries.

Apparently the character wasn't fully formed when Rockwell was hired. He said:

"We sort of didn't know where (Justin) was going and we discovered that as we shot the film, which is also kind of exciting. It also takes the pressure off you, because you're like--you know, I got a speech a half-hour before we shot it. I got a speech at lunch time, so I had to learn that and figure that out and use little tricks, you know, but we got it. It's on film, it's on celluloid."

Only minutes before the interview, Rockwell had been on stage in front of more than 6,000 fans for the Iron Man 2 panel. He was somewhat subdued during the panel and did not say very much. When asked if the crowds were intimidating, Rockwell said:

"It's a little intimidating, but seeing the trailer is really wild because we've been working on the film--we just wrapped about a week ago, so it felt like a smaller endeavor to us, and then to see that kind of filmmaking up there is pretty awesome, pretty impressive. So, I'm kind of like, "Wow, this is a big deal."

Rockwell couldn't divulge too much about the plot, but he admitted that his character and Mickey Rourke's character, Whiplash, team up against Iron Man. He said that Tony snubs Justin, which sets him off.

"Whiplash and I--Ivan and I do team up together. I'm sort of a patron of evil, I suppose. Actually, he's a big fan of Tony. Tony doesn't really want to hang out with Justin, so I think that angers Justin."

When asked about the process of developing the character of Justin Hammer, Rockwell said that it was not difficult, even though he was only given bits and pieces of the script to work with. He said:

"It's kind of like the way we worked on Charlie's Angels, with the exception that we had 17 writers for that and we only had one writer, which was Justin Theroux--thank God, you know--but it's a similar process and yet, because (director Jon Favreau) is an actor who comes from improve it's really actor-friendly, this process. So, it's very character driven. We didn't get a full script until like a week before shooting. I would get little pieces here and there. But, I would have conversations about it and I would get the scenes and go to my acting coach--a guy named Terry Knickerbocker--and we would work on the material. Even though the material might change... the homework I had done on it still pays off because it's still the same imaginary circumstances even though (something has) changed. So, it is possible to do preparation for a movie like this, but it's an unconventional way to work."

Finally, I asked Rockwell if he ever tries on the War Machine armor in the movie, since he is the one who develops it for the military. Rockwell smiled and said, "We'll see. We'll see," and then changed the subject. Could the footage of War Machine shown firing his guns in the teaser actually have Justin inside and not James "Rhodey" Rhodes? We'll have to wait and see.

Iron Man 2 opens May 7, 2010.

Click HERE for an interview with Robert "Iron Man" Downey Jr.!

Click HERE for an interview with Scarlett "Black Widow" Johansson!

Click HERE for an interview with Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau

And, in Astro Boy news:

Click HERE for an interview with Freddie "Astro Boy" Highmore!

Click HERE for an exclusive interview with Kristen "Cora" Bell!
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WEAPON911 - 7/26/2009, 9:18 PM
I think this movie is going to kick ASS....I can't wait. Oh, wait....FIRST
YohonKalic - 7/26/2009, 9:22 PM

I really hope his helmet doesn't have a racing stripe on it like in that pic.....

bsprecher - 7/26/2009, 9:25 PM
Just a fan art pic. There have been no official releases of the armor and they would not allow any recording of the footage in Hall H or of the actors in the press room.
NataliaRomanov - 7/26/2009, 9:27 PM
Holy crap! I can't believe you got to meet him! He's so yummy!!!! Was he nice, funny?
bsprecher - 7/26/2009, 9:28 PM
Sam was very polite and friendly. He's somewhat soft-spoken, in contrast to RDJ, who's very...Stark-like, in person.
MarkCassidy - 7/26/2009, 9:28 PM
I actually kind of like the stripes over the eyes in that pic..sets it apart a bit more from the Iron Man armor.

Rockwell is the man, iv been a fan since i saw him in Lawn Dogs.
NataliaRomanov - 7/26/2009, 9:29 PM
Did you actually talk to him or did he just talk?
bsprecher - 7/26/2009, 9:30 PM
@Rorshach01: Yeah, Sam's the man! Go check out his new sci-fi flick, Moon if you haven't already!

@NataliaRomanov: Yeah, I talked to him directly. I sat right next to him.

If you haven't already seen it, here's the Stark Industries card that he signed for me:

NataliaRomanov - 7/26/2009, 9:32 PM
Yeah, I saw it, I saw it. Jealous...
Bijous - 7/26/2009, 9:34 PM
Don Cheadle?

MarkCassidy - 7/26/2009, 9:35 PM
Yeah im going to see it during the week! Its only showing at 2 cinemas in Dublin or something so i have to drive to the other side of the city..not that thats a very long way really! Is it really good? Got rave reviews alright.

I think we should hold another art contest, with Brent's card as the prize;)
Bijous - 7/26/2009, 10:13 PM
@Rorschach01: You're in Dublin? Cool! I've always wanted to go there.

Count me in on the fan art contest! ;D
GUNSMITH - 7/26/2009, 10:28 PM
InstigatorGIRL - 7/26/2009, 11:41 PM
is it just me or does he look like My Name Is Earl in that pic ^_^ lol
KEROSENE - 7/27/2009, 12:13 AM
16th....just thought i'd list my position in posting.

anywho....I think that it would be an interesting concept to introduce warmachine in this film as a "bad guy" with hammer in the armor, then rhodey takes over the armor in the third film after Stark kicks Hammer's ass!!
Bijous - 7/27/2009, 12:24 AM
@Kerosene: Yeah, definitely! That last paragraph had the most tantalizing information in it.

Maybe Hammer intends to use the armor against Stark and Rhodey seizes it from him? Or, maybe Rhodey doesn't even wear the armor in this movie.
LEEE777 - 7/27/2009, 2:19 AM
BIJOUS @ That was my joke yesterday lol!!!

Great minds eh!!!! ; )

OMG cant belive THE BLACK PANTHER news!!!


Heh heh...

Oh and SAM looks like EARL don't ya think heh heh! Cool!!!
LEEE777 - 7/27/2009, 2:23 AM

heh heh heh, oh i think it was on the IRON MAN 2 post,

Man i luv that suit heh heh heh.

Damn that real pic is very nice @ BRENT @ Killer pic, love the red eyes!!! Hope you had great time man!!

The stripes will hav'ta grow on me though but Awesome pic!!! ; )
ThunderCougarFalconBird - 7/27/2009, 5:00 AM
I'm with Ror, I like those stripes! He looks mean!

I'm also kinda with Grif on this. Rhodey probably "steals" the suit or at least "borrows it without permission" to save Tony.

InstigatorGIRL - YES! I thought it WAS him at first!
superdog - 7/27/2009, 7:12 AM
i said it on another post that war machine is built by rockwells character cause tony wont give over his technology to the government. in the beginning at least i think rhodey and tony will be on opposite sides.
StephenStrange - 7/27/2009, 7:44 AM
Teabag, I agree.
jallanr - 7/27/2009, 8:28 AM
ya, i agree wit u teabag, it would be awesome to see a lot of war machine, but it is an iron man movie

woo hoo!
TheShakeBake - 7/27/2009, 8:37 AM
@investigator Girl HE DOES LOOK LIKE THE GUY FROM MY NAME IS EARL thats what i was thinking to lol

See Ya, The ShakeBake
NataliaRomanov - 7/27/2009, 8:38 AM
@Teabag: OMG! I can't believe you remembered Sam was in TMNT!!! That's awzum!!!

What's the Black Panther news?
tjdr59 - 7/27/2009, 11:24 AM
They didn't have an idea of the character until they started shooting?? That sounds like the hallmark of a poorly produced movie.
future0fcomixs - 7/27/2009, 11:45 AM
I am going to love this movie, Warmachine looks BA
APC2099 - 7/27/2009, 11:53 AM
WarMachine / Don Cheadle looks like

IronMaiden - 7/27/2009, 1:25 PM
God that little douche is annoying
meeseface - 7/27/2009, 1:29 PM
he's creepy. imagine waking up at night with him standing over you, staring, shivers
NataliaRomanov - 7/27/2009, 2:40 PM
What was the point of that video? How is that related to Sam Rockwell or Iron Man 2?
superdog - 7/27/2009, 4:29 PM
cause its supermike!
Gabe - 7/27/2009, 5:44 PM
Yay! 1st comment. Don't worry, Mr. Sprecher knows what I'm talking about!
Gabe - 7/27/2009, 7:13 PM
I'm actually pretty glad that they kept Justin Hammer youthful, being that he was originally an old man. He'll be much more intimidating this way.
Breasticles7 - 7/28/2009, 8:30 AM
i think that Howard Stark should make a cameo in captain america since he was building weapons in WW2
NataliaRomanov - 7/28/2009, 5:13 PM
Rockwell is yummilicious!
NataliaRomanov - 7/28/2009, 5:13 PM
Oh, yeah, and he's a good actor!
bsprecher - 7/28/2009, 10:35 PM
Great actor and very cool guy! He'll be a great nemesis for RDJ's Tony Stark!
GUNSMITH - 7/29/2009, 10:56 AM
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