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Guy Pearce Explains Why He Almost Didn't Take The Role Of Aldrich Killian In 'Iron Man 3'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
July 7, 2014 11:18 AM
4 Comments
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While he's not generally opposed to the idea, Guy Pearce rarely goes down the path of blockbuster tentpoles, preferring to work with interesting directors and weighty material. But he's an open-minded dude, and so when Marvel came calling for him to play the slimy Aldrich Killian in "Iron Man 3," he took the meeting. But as the actor explained to Total Film, he had some conditions before signing on. 

"My agent was certainly very excited by the prospect of 'Iron Man 3,' and I knew it would be seen by a lot more people [than my previous films were]," Pearce explained. "But for me, it was just a case of going, 'Well, this will be fun. I like Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow and I like what they did before."

"When I watched the first one, I thought, 'Wow, there's something different here.' Shane [Black], who directed the third, had been a fan of mine, apparently. He called up and I had a meeting with him and he said, 'We're not allowed to give you the script but I can tell you all about it.' He ran me through the whole story over lunch. It sounded really interesting," Pearce continued. "But I did end up saying to my agent, 'I'm not going to do this movie until they show me the script.' And my agent went [sharp intake of breath], 'They really don't want to show you the script.' So I said I wasn't going to do it. They sent me the script via link. You have two hours to read it before your computer blows up! And it was fine - it was exactly what we'd talked about."

It says something about the high regard Pearce is held in that the super secretive Marvel bent to his wishes and sent him a draft of the script to check out. Not everyone gets that privilege. And from his years around town, Pearce also knows that just hearing what the director intends and getting the final script can often be two wildly different things, especially with big studios. But hey, it all worked out for the best, and now you have a piece of comic book movie trivia.

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4 Comments

  • dnwilliams | July 7, 2014 5:14 PMReply

    I feel like Pearce and Portman might be the most wasted stars in the MCU. Pearce would have been a great Doctor Strange, Portman would have been a great Wasp.

  • Bi_O'Goldman | July 7, 2014 5:24 PM

    Holy sh what a great suggestion. Pearce would have been brilliant as Doctor Strange.

  • Emperor Zerg Rush | July 7, 2014 2:27 PMReply

    At the time, everyone assumed Kingsley was going to be the actual Mandarin and this was likely Marvel's way of keeping the twist contained as much as possible without it leaking via actor's assistant or some other bullshit and essentially spoiling the entire hook of the film's last act.

    But then Marvel would attempt to wipe it out anyway, using Drew Pearce's All Hail the King one-shot to establish that there's a third party who claims to be the "real" Mandarin, despite Killian's statement that the Mandarin had been something he'd cooked up to spook governments/etc. into bending to his whims.

  • cirkusfolk | July 7, 2014 1:13 PMReply

    Wait....so he actually did read the script and signed on to the film anyway! Smh

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