Actor discusses voicing this iconic superhero, the upcoming live action Iron Man movie and his newest project Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight.
Marc Worden has the kind of voice that most people would kill for. Deep and highly articulate, he made an impression on me the moment our interview for the upcoming release of The Invincible Iron Man started. In discussing his work in the dual role of Tony Stark/Iron Man, Worden seemed both philosophical and gracious in how his interpretation of this complex character has been received.
Could you tell the readers, who may not be familiar, who the character of Tony Stark/Iron Man is?
Marc Worden: Tony Stark is a billionaire industrialist and Iron Man is his superhero alter ego that he has been able to create through his inventions.
What was it about this role attracted you to it?
Marc Worden: Well, who wouldn't want the opportunity to play an epic superhero that has been a part of comic book lore since the 1960s? Stan Lee created this guy and he's been a part of the popular consciousness ever since. He's a cross between James Bond and Nikola Tesla. He's an amazing character to get the chance to play and he's a playboy. He does well with the ladies.
Do you think that audiences naturally key into this character because of his dual identity?
Marc Worden: I think that audiences appreciate his lifestyle. (Laughs) The idea of being able to take a helicopter from your yacht to your penthouse office sounds pretty good to me. All of us have a dualistic nature. Of course Tony's is secretive, he's a superhero, people don't know that Tony Stark is Iron Man. I think people can relate to having two sides to their personality, sure.
When you take on a role like Iron Man are you conscious of the fans and what their expectations might be? Or, do you just try and make it yours and hope that they like it?
Marc Worden: I would say that it's the latter. I am very proud to bring this character to life for these animated films. Before booking this role I didn't know a lot about Iron Man. So I did the research about the history of Iron Man. I was lucky enough to be given a copy of Essential Iron Man which was a reprinting of the first comics. That gave me a sense of where he came from. I was lucky enough to get The Ultimate Iron Man which is an incredible graphic novel. It was an introduction to me where comic books are at today. It just blew my mind because it was a really beautiful book, great storylines. I realized how lucky I was to get this gig.
What is your favorite aspect of playing the Iron Man role?
Marc Worden: For me, the best part is using my imagination to bring the words off the page. We do the recording session before the animation has even begun. You work off a great script. Greg Johnson who did Ultimate Avengers 1 and 2 also wrote this film. So you're in a recording studio and you're kind of flying blind. You have to do your best to make it believable and commit to your choices and bring it to life.
Having done the voice of Iron Man in the Ultimate Avengers and now The Invincible Iron Man, do you feel it's your duty to continue voicing this role?
Marc Worden: Well, I would love to continue voicing this character. As long as the fans enjoy what we've been making and want to see more, than we'll get that opportunity to make more films. I'd be proud to bring this guy to life as many more times as I can.
Do you have any thoughts on the upcoming Iron Man live-action movie with Robert Downey Jr.?
Marc Worden: I think the casting is incredible, man. I'm so excited to see it. My thoughts are I'm going to be the first in line to get a ticket, those are my thoughts. That's gonna be a great film. They're going to be able to tell a story that we are unable to tell, or have chosen not to tell, in so much as these film's are supposed to be for a wide audience. Yeah, they're for kids but we want the films to be accessible for adults as well. There are certain parts of the Tom Stark character that we have not really touched on. Particularly, his alcoholism is not a part of The Invincible Iron Man animated feature.
It's very early on in his story. It's about Iron Man's inception and that's just not a part of our story, because we wanted to appeal to kids. Whereas I'm sure in the live action film that will definitely be a part of it.
What do you have coming up next?
Marc Worden: Next for me is the Dragonlance it's an animated feature. That's going to be coming out in the middle of this year and that's through Paramount. I play Strum Brightblade who is a knight and he's integral to the story. What an amazing opportunity that was for me to play such a different character to Iron Man. It's a whole different world. I think there's a lot of people out there excited to see that film. There have been over 150 books in the Dragonlance Chronicles written since the 1980s when it first began. Anytime you read a book you have in your imagination what it would be, so I think there's a lot of people excited to see it come to life. And much like these films, we put them out there and hope that the fans enjoy them, then we'll get to make more of them.
The Invincible Iron Man comes to DVD January 23 from Lionsgate.