How Sam Rockwell One-Ups Robert Downey Jr. In Iron Man 2

Illustration for article titled How Sam Rockwell One-Ups Robert Downey Jr. In Iron Man 2

Think it's impossible to get the one over on the sly, one-liner-spouting Tony Stark? New Iron Man 2 bad boy Sam Rockwell revealed how his character, Justin Hammer, sticks it to Tony: by being a better ladies man. Spoilers ahead.

Who is Justin Hammer?

He's an arms dealer. He's kind of a Tony Stark-wannabe. I think he's awesome, here's hoping to following in the footsteps of Jeff Bridges [in the first movie], and Bill Murray in Kingpin, and a few others.


Did you end up reading any of the comics in preparation?

I did, a little bit, and I gathered that he was a British man around the age of 60, so I decided to just do my own thing, because that really wasn't going to happen.

What's your involvement with Whiplash?

Whiplash and I, Ivan and I do team up together. I'm sort of a patron of evil.

Are you the brain behind the brawn?

A little bit, a little bit — although Ivan's pretty smart.

Were they partners in the past?

He's got a lot of money — actually, he's a big fan of Tony's. But Tony doesn't really want to hang out with Justin. So I think that angers Justin. No, but it's more like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Not quite, but very similar.


Was it nervewracking being a part of this big under-taking?

It's nervewracking, because the character isn't completely written, and the first one was such a big success, so yeah there's a bit of that, but then you sort of find a home, and you realize there's a reason you're there. And it all comes together.


How did you hear come about getting this role?

I worked with Jon Favreau on this film called Made. And Justin Theroux, who wrote the script, is an old friend of mine, they sort of cooked up this idea and pitched it to Kevin Feige. What they did, they were maybe going to do one villain like they did with Jeff Bridges, but then they decided to split the villains. And really Mickey [Rourke] is the main [villain], but I come to his aid. I looked at the comics, but I think they just wanted me to create something a little different. So Theroux came up with this character and took it to Favreau. I knew there would be a lot of improvisation, so I didn't want to have an accent — because that's tricky with that much improvisation — so I thought I would just play it straight.


Are there a lot of Tony and Justin scenes?

There are only a couple, but they're key.

Do you have a relationship with Scarlett Johansson's character?

You know I don't, I have a very brief interaction with her I think, I don't. Mostly it's with Mickey.


Do you also have the female entourage like Tony does?

You know I meet, Christine Everhart, who was the journalist [that Tony seduced] in the first one. She and I, we show up at an event together [as a couple]. So there you go.

Illustration for article titled How Sam Rockwell One-Ups Robert Downey Jr. In Iron Man 2

In other awesome Sam Rockwell news, he's totally down for another Batman and Robin sketch with Justin Long, who played Robin from their short, Robin's Big Date, "We're talking about doing a sequel to it, Justin and I. We're looking for a good Penguin and maybe that Riddler."


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My only fear is that IM2 will succumb to the standard superhero sequelitis by having the two villains. We'll have to wait and see.