Exclusive: Iron Man 2 cast: Their Best Roles
Article by: GregMo Roberts
Killerreviews looks at the cast of Iron Man 2 and explores each participants
best roles in their respective careers.
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Robert Downey Jr. – Tony Stark/Iron Man
Total Film and Television credits: 74 (based on imdb.com)
Best role: Kirk Lazarus – Tropic Thunder
Downey has been around since 1970 and has appeared in some stellar films
– Zodiac, Natural Born Killers. But it was his role as method actor
Kirk Lazarus that stands as the highlight of his still budding career.
Alongside Ben Stiller and Jack Black, Downey played an actor who undergoes
a controversial procedure so he can play a black lieutenant in a big budget
action film. The wrong actor in the role would have destroyed the whole
film, but Downey knocks it out of the park and even got an Academy Award
nomination for his efforts.
Don Cheadle – Lt. Col James Rhodes
Total Film and Television credits: 65
Best role: Paul Rusesabagina – Hotel Rwanda
Cheadle began his career in television with guest roles on China Beach
and Hill Street Blues. But in 1997, his career took off with roles in
feature films Boogie Nights, Rosewood and Volcano. From here, there was
no looking back. Cheadle is good at mixing fluff (The Ocean’s series)
with high drama (Crash), but his leading role as Paul Rusesbagina in Hotel
Rwanda stands as his best work to date. Nominated for an Oscar for his
true-life portrayal of a hotel manager during the Rwandan genocide, Cheadle
supplanted himself as an acting force that can carry a film.
Scarlett Johansson – Natalie Rushman
Total Film and Television credits: 34
Best role: Nola Rice – Match Point
Johansson has only been acting for 16 years and had to earn her way up
the casting couch ladder by starring in such duds as Home Alone 3. Her
role alongside Thora Birch in Ghost World (2001) would bring her critical
acclaim that later exploded with Lost in Translation two years later.
But her role in Woody Allen’s Match Point as Nola Rice – an
American actress to which the film hinges. Johnasson really got to show
her acting chops in Match Point and Allen has a way of directing women
in strong roles. The result is a powerful performance that is believable
and mesmerizing at the same time.
Gwyneth Paltrow – Pepper Potts
Total Film and Television credits: 42
Best role: Viola De Lesseps – Shakespeare in Love
One thing is clear, this girl has range. She can go from silly comedies
(Austin Powers, Shallow Hal) to period pieces (Emma, Great Expectations)
to thrillers (Se7en, The Perfect Murder). But we chose her role as Viola
De Lesseps as the character she would likely put in bold print on her
resume. The film is known more for its upset over Steven Spielberg’s
Saving Private Ryan during the Academy Awards in 1999, but Paltrow’s
role as Viola – an actress that dresses as a boy and wins the part
of Romeo in a stage production of the Shakespearean play was magnificent.
Just how good? Well, ask five random people who starred in Shakespeare
in Love and I bet 3 will remember Paltrow had the female lead. I will
guess that less will remember the male leads. That makes our point.
Sam Rockwell – Justin Hammer
Total Film and Television Credits: 66
Best Role: Guy Fleegman – Galaxy Quest
From the ‘Head thug’ in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
film to scene stealing roles in Frost/Nixon and Matchstick Men, Rockwell
is a solid character actor that routinely takes the ordinary and makes
it extraordinary (see The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). With
many eccentric roles to choose, we picked his role as Guy Fleegman in
1999’s Galaxy Quest as his crowing achievement. Sure, in Confessions
of a Dangerous Mind, he was absolutely brilliant. And yes, he was able
to carry the film Moon and keep it interesting as being the only actor
on screen for much of the running time. But as weird and nerdy Fleegman
that is transported to other worlds alongside his Galaxy Quest comrades,
he truly shines. Tim Allen, Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver all acted
alongside the rather green actor, but he stole every scene he was in and
gathered more laughs that any of the seasoned vets he acted alongside.
Mickey Rourke – Whiplash
Total Film and Television Credits: 68
Best Role: Marv – Sin City
Once a golden child who lost everything and was living out of his trailer
just a few years ago, Rourke knows what it is like to be on top of the
world and lose it all. Many categorize his role as Randy in the critically
adored The Wrestler in 2008 as being the role that got him his mojo and
A-list status back. But for us, it was his role as Marv in Frank Miller’s
Sin City that was his true great moment on screen. Marv beats and gets
beat. He fights and gets fought. With a chiseled chin and a narrative
objective, Marv took to the streets in Sin City and punched through anyone
in his way as he tried to discover who killed his one-night-stand. Marv
is not only Rourke’s best role, but it is one of the best roles
ever in action film history.
Samuel L. Jackson – Nick Fury
Total Film and Television Credits: 134
Best Role: Elijah Price - Unbreakable
Wow. You could argue that Samuel L. is the hardest working actor in Hollywood
today. Not since Gene Hackman and Michael Caine were appearing (or so
it seemed) in films every month back in the 1980/90’s has there
been an actor that seems attached to just about every major project in
Hollywood. Jackson has been a Jedi (Attack of the Clones) and has uttered
some of the best lines cinema has ever offered an actor – “Yes,
they deserve to die and I hope they burn in hell!”. He has worked
with Scorsese, Spielberg, Lucas and Tarantino. Hell, he even took on snakes
on a plane! With such a vast and strong resume to select from, our choice
did not come easy.
But it was his role as the villain opposite Bruce Willis’ hero
in M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable that gets out top vote. Jackson
plays Elijah Price, a villain who’s bones are so fragile and brittle,
he is called Mr. Glass. Mr. Glass believes that he is linked to Willis’
security guard character, “but sitting on opposite ends” and
he sets out to prove his theory. Jackson brought a vulnerability to the
role and brought us one of the most vulnerable bad guys ever put to film.
We might all remember Jackson as the hero who got eaten by a shark or
Jules Winfield in Pulp Fiction, but for our money, Unbreakable was his