That Time Iron Man 3’s Guy Pearce Made Robert Downey Jr. Break Character

Guy Pearce as Killian in Iron Man 3

Robert Downey Jr. has had quite a stunning Hollywood story, with his upswing into notoriety and acclaim starting with 2007's Iron Man. RDJ's Tony Stark has been at heart of the MCU for the last decade, starting with his own trilogy of movies. By the time Iron Man 3 arrived 2013, Downey had become used to walking in Iron Man's high tech shoes, although newcomer Guy Pearce figured out a way to break him on set. Because while filming Aldrich Killian's fight sequences with Tony and Pepper, the King's Speech actor wore chose footwear that threw the film's lead off: Birkenstocks. As Guy Peace tells it,

I was doing the fight scene in my Birkenstocks. You didn't see them in the movie of course. And at a certain point [Downey] stops and goes, 'Wait a second, are you in Birkenstocks?' He sort of just had a moment of being really thrown, had to sort of collect himself. This is Iron Man, surely he could deal with Birkenstocks. But maybe that's his Kryptonite.

While Tony Stark had come into conflict with Gods and an alien invasion, there was one thing that threw off the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist: the wrong pair of shoes.

Guy Pearce's comments to People's Couch Surfing is sure to be an enjoyable story for all the Marvel fans out there, especially given the somewhat grim state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The stakes are currently sky high, so its nice to go back to a simpler time. Iron Man 3 was the first film in Phase Two, serving as a follow up to Joss Whedon's massively successful The Avengers. Tony Stark once again took the spotlight, and battled both the infamous Mandarin and Pearce's suave and deadly Aldrich Killian.

While Marvel's fight sequences are always massive and exciting, Iron Man 3 stood out because the trio of protagonists weren't suited up during the last conflict. Guy Pearce's Killian and Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts were both given enhanced abilities through the Extremis virus. And while Tony Stark tried time and time again, he was prevented from becoming Iron Man and using his normal methods of battle. As a reminder, you can check out the scene below-- free of Birkenstocks.

While Robert Downey Jr. might have broken character in response to Guy Pearce's Birkenstocks, it definitely didn't show in Iron Man 3's final cut. Aldrich Killian comes very close to ending Iron Man's superhero career before it could get started, but luckily Pepper Potts steps in and kicks some serious ass with a mixture of Extremis and Stark tech. Bye bye Killian.

Tony Stark will return Avengers 4 on May 3rd, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.