Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Kingsley talk about children and the themes in Iron Man 3

Last week I had the chance to attend the press junket for Marvel’s new Iron Man 3 movie. Attended by Robert Downy Junior, Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Don Cheadle, it was a fascinating conversation about the behind-the-scenes aspects of the movie.  One of the question to the actors, however, shifted to talking about some of the themes of the movie, and how kids may react.

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The press junket occurred just a few days after the Boston marathon bombing, and someone asked the group, “How will people respond to the film in today’s unsafe world?”  I thought the answers were interesting, but also relevant for parents of children who may be seeing the film.

DON CHEADLE: Well, sure. I think especially with the events of the last week we’ve been asked a lot. I’ve been a lot, anyway, about if there are any sort of, you know, illusions between what’s happening in the real world and what’s happening in the film and are we trying to make a statement. And clearly this movie was in the can before anything happened, transpired in the last week. But as Robert mentioned earlier, the job of this film is to entertain. That’s what we’re hoping to do. If we’re lucky enough to outside of that have someone’s mind changed about something that’s happening in the real world or sensitivity that wasn’t there before or some deeper understanding, that’s some ancillary bi-product that we couldn’t have anticipated. I couldn’t have anyway.  We’re really trying to give people I think the ability to go into a darkened room, and have a couple of hours of just pure enjoyment. And if anything else happens outside of that, that’s an unintended consequence, but one that’s a happy one, I guess.

BEN KINGSLEY: Whatever the context, whatever the scene, there’s always a quest for sincerity; a quest for the genuine, a quest for putting the human dance on the screen. And all generations will respond to that. Children do respond to sincerity, and Robert as a guiding actor through our experience will always debate where is the sincerity in the scene, where is its heart? And I think that will appeal to children of all ages.

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GWYNETH PALTROW:  And, you know, we do live in an unsafe world. That’s the truth and I’m dealing with this now with my seven-year-old. fact that the world is unsafe, and there are people who do harmful things. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with presenting that idea. We can’t lie to our children and pretend that the world is perfect and everybody is happy, and everybody is out there to do good. So, you know, it’s just part of a bigger conversation. I know that after my children saw the movie, I had certain conversations with my son about it. And so I think it’s a good sort of contained place to have a conversation.

Iron Man 3 opens in theaters this weekend!

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