Do you know what it's like to have the new War Machine just appear before you at a table? It's really kind of startling. Because I wasn't at the panel, I had no idea who (beyond Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau, of course) was actually at ComicCon. But wham, suddenly there was Don Cheadle who just seemed to apparate into the chair from an unspecified location. It was like an Iron Man 2 parade which would have only been cooler if they'd been fresh off the set, and still in their costumes. Oh yeah, and obviously he was really nice, too ... and tall. Tall like War Machine!

Check out what Mr. Cheadle has to say on spin-off possibilities, on wearing the suit, on the relationship between Rhodey and Tony, and much more ...

So, that War Machine suit is pretty f--cking cool.

Pretty cool, yeah. I've got a couple of them in back. [laughs] On Ebay so, if anyone wants to jump in on that ...

What's the reserve?

I can't go too much into detail, but check them out!

[Reporter asks about the real chemistry Robert Downey Jr. discussed a few minutes before]

You know it's great, especially in a movie that has so much about it that isn't real, that has so [much] that you can't see, or touch, or feel, or understand -- to have an actor like Robert who is steeped in acting tradition, where we really are trying to go after real stuff, and feeling very similar to what I like to do. So it was very encouraging to be able to grab onto something that felt real in that whole huge thing that was Iron Man 2.

Go below the jump for the rest ...
Can you talk about the relationship between Rhodey and Stark in this film? From the footage we saw, it looked pretty strained.

It is strained. Rhodey is a military man who has to follow chain of command, and has rules that he follows. Tony Stark basically in this movie is a free agent, doing whatever he wants, sitting in donuts, using the suit for whatever he desires and want to use it for. So, there is a lot of tension which all of our scenes kind of explore, and that turns into the kind of underpinning for the whole film. What does Iron Man have to do? How does he deal with the pressure of saying "Yeah, I'm Iron Man." Well, what does that mean? Do we get to pimp you out to go to all our little jobs all over the world? Or does he get to say "No" when we're having some crisis that needs to be dealt with?

On the fact that he's a rules and regulations guy -- on that scene with Justin Hammer [in which Rhodey is scene buying weapons from Justin], was Rhodey going a little rogue right there? Or does Hammer work for him?

Well, it depends. Are stealth bombers rogue? Are drones rogue?

So, Justin Hammer is a guy that Rhodey works with.
Yeah. He's a defense contractor.

Speaking of rogue -- do you wear a real War Machine suit?

Only on the set, and in my character. And then I strip it off, and [laughs]. Yeah, yeah, I wear the real suit. My real suit was a lot heavier than Robert's, and had a lot more stuff on it! It's neccessary. It's so funny because sometimes you're in the suit, sometimes you're doing motion capture stuff, and it's not the suit. Sometimes they don't need you and they're just creating it. I've never worked like this before.

Is the suit just cumbersome? Or do you feel the power of the character when you have the suit on?

You can't feel it in the ends of your fingers and toes after a day in the suit. I mean, literally -- you can't touch or scratch your nose. But when you have it on, it's clearly The Suit, you know? You have to do it. But it's funny, I looked on the schedule and I think my CGI version of James Rhodey worked just as many days as I did.


They didn't have to feed him.

When they approached you about this character, did you hesitate about doing this?

Well you know, my first hesitation was about Terrence [Howard]. He's a friend. I said "I'm not taking ...?" And they said no, he's not doing it. You're on the short list, and if you say no, we're on to the next. So you know, once I knew that -- it was still kind of a question because it's a commitment. This is, knock on wood, a franchise, and you go, do I want to be locked into this character for three, four, I don't know how many films. But like I said, I really thought the first movie was definitely handled with real things inside of this fantasy world. Apart from all the CGI, and make believe, and pyrotechnics, there's some real acting going on. I felt like that was a fun risk. That's a fun risk.

Obviously, Rhodey has more to do in this film with the War Machine armor on, but he's still the best friend character. How do you, as an actor, make sure you're not just the best friend? How do you make sure you're getting [used] properly, and really getting up there?

I don't mind being just the best friend, if that's what he's supposed to be. I don't mind being the hero, if that's what he's supposed to be. Once I say yes to a project, then I'm saying yes to the whole thing. Whatever part I'm supposed to serve is the part I'm supposed to serve. And he is an integral part of the story throughout. So, I didn't really feel like I had to double back with Kevin Feige or Jon and say "Hey, make sure that I get to do some cool sh*t too!" I knew that he was an integral part of the story.

Talking about being a hero -- War Machine gets his own [moment] in this. Has anyone talked to you about the possibility, a few years down the road ... War Machine, you getting your own [franchise]?

No one. People have asked, but no one has really mentioned it as something that's happening. I mean, there's -- hopefully, if this goes well, there will be another one of these [Iron Man movies] with these same people. It won't be a spin-off like the X-Men.

Have they talked you about appearing in [other Marvel movies] at all?

Yeah, I mean, they're in SHIELD. They're all in that Avengers world. All of the characters kind of appear in each other's stories in some way, shape, or form. I don't know how far that will go, but yeah, that's been discussed.

Don, do you read any comics yourself?

I used to! I used to read Swamp Thing, I used to read X-Men, I used to read Watchmen. When I was really little I used to read Archie and Veronica.