Don Cheadle Says Marvel Studios Gave Him 2 Hours to Decide Whether to Be War Machine for Iron Man 2

Don Cheadle says that Marvel Studios gave him just two hours to decide whether or not he wanted to be War Machine in Iron Man 2. The story comes from a conversation he had with The A.V. Club. It turns out that he as at his kid's laser tag party when the studio phoned him about the part. Now, making a major life decision like taking on a multiple-movie contract is something you really want to think over as an actor. But, when they tell you that this is the deal, take it or leave it, you have to be willing to live with the results. It seems to have worked out for the War Machine actor. Hearing the story itself is understandably wild.

(Photo: Marvel Studios)

"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.'"

So, from there it was on. Iron Man was already one of the biggest properties on the planet and Cheadle would get to be along for The Avengers sequels and such. Sometimes it's important to trust your gut, even when there are a bunch of kids screaming about laser tag right behind you.

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