'Iron Man 3' interview: Ty Simpkins talks Robert Downey Jr. and 'Insidious 2'

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With "Iron Man 3" dominating the box office, young actor Ty Simpkins is being introduced to a global audience. At 11 years old, he's not a new face though. Simpkins got his start at three weeks old with a role on "One Life to Live." Since then he's made the jump to movies, appearing in "Little Children," "Revolutionary Road," and starring in the thriller "Insidious."

"Iron Man 3" is a bit of a change for Ty, as he plays the role of Tony Stark's ( Robert Downey Jr.) sidekick in the movie. Zap2it had a chance to sit down with Simpkins to talk about his time on the set, what's next and more.

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How did you end up in this movie?

Ty Simpkins: I went on the auditions and then I went on this chemistry reading. And then every day when I was on the chemistry reading I was like, "I'm going to get this." Then I went in and I told them that I kept saying "I'm going to get this," and that's part of the reason why I got the part.

Because you told them you were going to get it?

Yeah, they said "One of the reasons you got the part is because you kept saying you were going to get it and you were so positive." So that's one of the reasons I got it, besides my acting. Or else they wouldn't like me in the movie.

I assume your chemistry reading was with Robert?

Yeah.

And how was working with him?

That was really  fun, he made it just so easy that I could feel like I was Harley but I was also Ty at the same time, it was half and half. I'm normally all the character.

You spend a lot of the movie in a really awesome workshop. When you were done with your scenes, was there anything from there you got to take home with you?

No, I tried to take the gaming chair but I bet the producer got it.

What's the funniest thing that happened on the set?

I started huge snowball fights with the crew and one of the special effects guys was like, "That's it!" and he ran to the snow maker machine and pummeled me with it. Luckily, it was in scene, so he got revenge.

If you could have any super power...

Oh, it would probably be if I didn't have the Iron Man suit on, but I could fire repulsor blasts out of my hands, and flying, and fire coming out of my hands and mouth and eyes and nose.

That is way more super-powered than just being invisible.

But I would like to be invisible too, because that would be really fun. I would be the best spying person in the world! My friend gets so cocky about that, saying he's the best spy, but he's really not.

What was your favorite thing to shoot for the movie?

Stunts were the best, I did all of the stunts except for one, which got cut out. There was two that I love the most that was in the movie. One was when one of the villains had me captive and he had his hand on my head and I used a flash grenade on him. That was one of my favorite parts, because I got to take out a guy. Then, the other one was I had these chemicals and I whipped them on the [barn door] handle and then I jumped. When I did that there was a flash and smoke. That was one of my favorite ones. I did a turn and jump, and when I jumped they set off the bang.

What do you have coming up next?

Well, I just finished "Insidious 2."

Can I tell you something about the first "Insidious?"

Yeah.

That movie is so creepy.

It's the music, right?

The music is very scary, but so is that poster with you on it.

Everyone got scared, seriously! When that came out, people were like, "You're scary." But the guy who played the red-faced demon [ Joseph Bishara], he was also the music composer. He was basically the scary in that movie.

Is part two scarier?

I'm not sure, because I haven't seen it yet. But it was definitely a lot more fun to film.

When you're making a movie like that, do you get scared in the process?

Well, they were actually people in paint and the makeup artists were really good, as you can see in the movie. It was really scary. Like I said before, I'm usually fully in character. So I was like that in the movie, and there were all these ghosts and I was creeped out by them and had to ask for space.

Now when you say you're fully in-character, do you stay in-character between takes?

Oh, you mean like Robert Downey Jr. He's like that that all around the set.

Do you think there's a lot of Robert in Tony?

There is a lot of Robert in Tony, but I'm not going to say that he's cocky, because he's not. In his interviews he kind of seems like that, but he's not in real life. He's just a really nice, kind of a normal guy. I know he's going to say, "No I'm not," like he did on the red carpet, but he is. Of course he's special, he's Robert Downey Jr. But he's still just a guy, an everyday human. He's not like some god. Well, he is a god, but he's not like God. But he's still cool. He's the acting god. I guess we could put it that way, he's the acting god.

"Iron Man 3" is in theaters now.
Photo/Video credit: Marvel
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