Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man is probably some of the most bizarre, and most genius, piece of Hollywood casting in a comic-book movie ever. I still remember when people were scratching their heads over the whole Michael Keaton as Batman news ... but he didn't have the same reputation as a dabbler in the pleasures of recreational drugs that Downey has.

However, if you're familiar at all with the "Iron Man" comic books, then you know that Tony Stark has had similar problems, including a love affair with bottles of booze. He's a troubled hero, hidden behind armor, and Downey looks to be doing an amazing job of showing the human side of a Man of Iron.

I caught up with him at Comic-Con and asked him about wearing the new suit. Click on his picture to hear the audio, which includes tidbits like:
  • "This is a karma superhero, really. More than anything else."
  • "Stan Lee created "Iron Man" on a dare.
  • He quit smoking during the filming of Iron Man, and Jon Favreau went on a diet. (I'm sure that caused some tension on-set).
  • "I can relate to someone who sees things a different way, having any sort of spiritual awakening, even if it's an out and out trauma."
  • "Tony Stark is Iron Man ... he just doesn't know it yet."
  • "The armor was probably tailored to the most in-shape, tallest of the stuntmen."
  • He says he'd "like to do a whole bunch more of them" -- meaning sequels to this one.
  • When asked who would win in a fight between Terrence Howard and himself, if they were both in a superhero movie, he coyly says "You'll see."