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Jon Favreau Says He Used Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Real-Life Banter in ‘Iron Man’

Jon Favreau knew Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow’s onscreen chemistry in Iron Man was something special.

The director recently revealed to People magazine that he incorporated some of the actors’ real-life conversations into the Marvel movie. And it’s one of the reasons why the dynamic between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts felt so authentic.

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“I was a very good student where I would take notes as they would talk, and whether it was improvising or even just talking about the scene, I would write stuff down that they would say,” Favreau recalled.

He particularly remembered one instance when Paltrow actually corrected Downey “because we were reading the script and it said, ‘This looks like Jackson Pollock’s spring period.’ And then she corrected us in rehearsal. She says, ‘No, it’s actually The Springs period. The Springs is the part of the Hamptons where Jackson Pollock lived and worked, not spring, not the season.’”

Favreau continued, “So I wrote down every word, and she’s correcting him in the movie when he says, ‘the spring period.’ So it just adds to their sort of nippy banter. I find it thoroughly compelling and entertaining to watch the two of them onscreen together because they had this banter that has an edge to it.”

The 2008 Iron Man movie not only helped launch the multibillion-dollar Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it also cemented Downey’s place in Hollywood. He and Paltrow went on to reprise their roles in additional stand-alone Iron Man films as well as other Marvel projects before their last appearances as Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, respectively, in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.

Favreau added that “they complement each other so well. They’re so different, but yet [have] so much mutual respect and admiration. I love that.”

Iron Man‘s script was penned by Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway.

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