Why did you decide to take the role of Whiplash when you hate franchise movies?
I normally don’t really care for that type of film but I saw the first one and they very much took a chance by having someone like Robert Downey Jr - who’s not your conventional action hero - play the role. I though that was pretty bold and it paid off because Robert brought a quirky, unpredictable sense of humour to it. He didn’t make it stereotypical like Spider-Man, like Batman and all that shit.
You took yourself off to Russia and a hardcore prison as research…
I was playing a Russian scientist who’s been incarcerated for many years so I wanted to go over and see the facilities in Russia and the Russian criminal society. The inmates were fine and one guy came to my hotel after getting out after 12 years. He showed me these tattoos…They tattoo cats on their fingers or necks and the smaller the kitty-cast the more powerful the prisoner. Favreau didn’t know I was there but after he went to bat for me I wanted to bring as much back-story as I could to the table.
Tell us about Whiplash’s costume…
The first time I had it on I had it on for four minutes and I was like, “Take it off!” The whole vest weighed about 40lbs and I could walk 25 steps and be exhausted. So what I did with my trainer was put on a 40lb weight vest and put the treadmill on uphill and we just worked out for two months. Whiplash uses electrodes as whips so I used wrist weights and my stunt co-ordinator Garrett Warren would come over and we would do a boxing workout with whips.
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILER AHEAD!
Will Whiplash be popping up in any of the other Marvel films?
Well, the only thing I can tell you is that they had decided to kill me and we did film it with Gwyneth Paltrow. And then they came to New Mexico and re-shot tit and now it’s left up in the air…
Iron Man 2 will be released in the UK on April 30th and in the US on May 7th.