Marvel star Don Cheadle, whose War Machine suffered a spinal injury in Captain America: Civil War, hopes to see more opportunities for actors with disabilities.
"I actually have," Cheadle said at ACE Comic Con Seattle when asked if his War Machine has seen response from people with disabilities. "People have asked, 'What was the takeaway from that, did I consult with people?' And obviously, yes, I talked to people who have had spinal injuries and how to deal with that, and how to portray that ... people have reached out to me with regards to that."
"And in fact, there's been kind of a movement about getting more actors with 'disabilities' to be able to represent and play themselves on screen, which I think is very important to continue to do," Cheadle continued. "So hopefully those opportunities will expand and grow."
Getting to take the character in that direction has been "very rewarding" for Cheadle, who last reprised the role in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
"Seeing people's responses, and when people come up and say it meant a lot to them, the character and the way it was portrayed, dealing with what he has to deal with after obviously what happens in [Civil War] ... and that he comes back, and that he's able to stand strong again with his cohorts and to make the thing happen, that's always very rewarding. And that's the experience I always get from fans," Cheadle said.
"But one of the most rewarding things is also this sort of family that we've created over all these years that we get to keep returning to, and every couple years things have happened in people's lives, families and kids. This is ten, 11 years that we've been doing this, so it's always nice to have a reason to come back in our busy lives and revisit this space again with these guys that have become a family."
And Cheadle, who appeared at ACE Comic Con alongside co-stars Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans, appreciates the dramatic heft offered by the Anthony and Joe Russo-directed Avengers, which explored Renner's Clint Barton as a blood-thirsty vigilante following the loss of his family.
"I felt fortunate to actually get to take that character through that arc, because — and with Clint's character too — we visit very dark places in these movies, and as actors we appreciate having the opportunity to do things that are fantastical, and huge, and fun, and exciting, but also to really touch some deep, emotional beats, and put that all inside of that whole universe," Cheadle said.
"And that's something that's really a testament to the directors, and the writers, and Kevin [Feige], to not shy away from those moments, but to really make them a big part of what the movie is. And I think the fact that the movie's that elastic and expansive that it can support all those different things is great."
Avengers: Endgame is available to own on Digital HD July 30 and 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray August 13.