Don Cheadle may have missed the opportunity to appear as War Machine in Iron Man 2 if he didn’t act quickly enough. According to The A.V. Club, Cheadle was given little time to make a career-changing decision.
Cheadle was at his kid’s laser tag party when the studio phoned him about the part.
“I was actually at my kid’s birthday party—a laser tag party—and I got a call from my agent, and they said, ‘Hey, so I want to connect you to these Marvel guys. They want to talk to you, but they want to offer you the part.’ I don’t think it was [Kevin] Feige. I don’t know who was on the phone,” Cheadle began. “But they said, ‘Hey, this is the role. We want you to do this. It’s a six-picture deal.’ I was like, ‘What?! Oh, uh, okay…’ And I’m trying to do the math. I’m like, ‘That’s 11 or 12 years. I’m not sure.’ And they’re like, ‘Well, we need to know, because if you’re not saying yes, then we’re gonna move on to the next person. So you’ve got an hour.’”
“An hour to decide 12 years, and a role and parts that I don’t even know, in movies that are coming down that I have no idea what they’ll be,” he continued. “I said, ‘I’m at my kid’s laser tag party right now.’ They said, ‘Oh! Oh, take two hours.’ So generous! So I go back inside, and I’m ducking behind things, playing laser tag, and talking to my wife. I’m like, ‘Should I take a flier on this? Is this something I should do?’ And she said, ‘Well, yeah, I guess so. All things being equal, this is that kind of thing. You’ve never done anything like this before. Big special effects, tent pole, four-quadrant movie. Do you want to do something like this?’ I said, ‘I kind of do.’ She said, ‘Well, then take a flier. Let’s do it. Try it.’”
Looking back, it certainly appears that Cheadle made the right decision in accepting the role.
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This is post P-90x. I’m saying I watched the videos. I’m not saying I participated. Born in my mom’s basement, I’ve stayed there to embody the stereotype. One day I will rise up… to the main floor of the house.