It’s a thrilling, rip-roaring extravaganza of an interview, true believer!
You’re a judge on this year’s Crash The Super Bowl contest for Doritos. The prize is an opportunity to work on Avengers: The Age Of Ultron, so what are you looking for in a winner?
I guess what you’d look for in any contest like this - the first thing is originality. I’d love to see some idea that I haven’t thought of, or never would have thought of. The second thing is presentation - it should be entertaining, it should be amusing, it should grab you, because it’s only a 30-second commercial, and every second has to be important. Finally, it has to in some way make the viewer want to rush right out and grab a Dorito chip…
Will entrants have an automatic advantage if they offer you a cameo?
If someone offered me a cameo, I’d have to step back and think about that a little bit. I have to be fair, so that would be tough, but I’ll admit that would make a hell of an impression on me!
Of all the cameos you’ve made in Marvel movies over the years, is there one that really stands out to you?
I like them when they’re funny, like the one I did for The Amazing Spider-Man, where I was a librarian, listening to music, and I wasn’t aware that right behind me Spider-Man and the lizard were fighting a life and death battle.
Having Iron Man mistake you for Hugh Hefner was a classic, too.
Funny thing about that - do you remember I had my arms around three blonde girls when Tony Stark passed by? I originally had a pipe in my mouth because they thought it would make me look more like Hef, but every time I turned my head, the pipe hit the cheek of the girl standing next to me. So if you watch it again, you will notice I’m not holding the pipe in my mouth.
What is it like for you to walk onto a movie set, and see these characters that you’ve created come to life in front of you?
It’s really very exciting, but I don’t have much time to think about it. The only time I walk on to a set is when I’m doing a cameo, and I’m really concerned about my cameo, you know - I have to do it just right, I have to understand my motivation. I have to be trained for hours before I do it. And if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’ll sell you!
The Avengers sequel is called The Age Of Ultron – what can you tell us about Ultron?
Very little, because I don’t know that much about him myself! I haven’t been reading the books lately because I don’t have time - I had to ask someone yesterday who Ultron was, and I’m not sure I understood what he told me. Apparently he’s not a real person, he was a robot or something, and he’s now trying to get a lot of robots to take over the world. I’m at a loss, I can’t wait to see the movie so I know who Ultron is! Who and what he is. I’m not even sure of the sex…
I’m not sure robots have a sex.
I guess not. That’s one tragic thing about being a robot.
Your cameo in Mallrats is a classic, what was it like to talk about your characters in that way?
Oh, that wasn’t a cameo! I was one of the stars, shame on you. But I enjoyed it tremendously and I enjoyed Kevin Smith, we got along beautifully. Tell you a funny thing about it, though - in the movie, I’m supposed to be telling somebody that they shouldn’t feel bad about losing a girl because I had lost a girl once and I still remember her and blah blah blah. I went home and my wife said, “What’s this about that girl you were talking about?” And I said, “Honey, it’s just movie!” But it took me a while to pacify her.
You’re known for creating sympathetic bad guys. Who are your favorites?
Dr. Doom. The thing I like about him is he’s king of his own country, and he couldn’t be put in jail if he does something, because he has diplomatic immunity. The other thing that I like is that all he wants to do is rule the world. Now, are you aware that you could go up to a policeman and say, “Officer, I want to rule the world,” and there’s nothing they can do? It’s not a crime! He’s really a good guy/bad guy. That’s why I like Dr. Doom, he’s ambivalent. There are so many - I like the Green Goblin. I like Galactus, I never thought of him totally as a villain, he was just a hungry guy. You know, you’re hungry, you want to eat! I also love Magneto – I wish he’d been the hero, because I find him the most interesting of all the X-Men. I’m Ian McKellan’s biggest fan, nobody could be Magneto the way he could. Doctor Octopus is one of the great ones. I like calling him “Doc Ock”. I love giving characters nicknames - for example, Spider-Man, I always called him Spidey. Now, you can read DC comics, and no one ever calls Superman “Soupy”. That’s a very important point and I’d like you to really give it a lot of thought.
Are there any superpowers left that haven’t been thought of?
If there are, I’m going to do them. I spend most of my time thinking about new superpowers. I’ve got about six or eight that nobody has done yet - I have them on a list here at our company POW. We’re developing them as future movies, but I cant tell you what they are, because some other movie maker might be listening or reading your article…
If you had to turn the following celebrities into superheroes, what would their names and powers be? Starting with Clint Eastwood.
He’s one of my favorites. Just because of the way he looks I’d call him Hawk-Eye. As far as his power, I think with a gun he’d be the best marksmen and the fastest draw.
He’d have to be a villain, he’d make a much better villain. I might call him –The Deaf-A-Nator!
He’s not part of my social list. If I were doing a new Snow White cartoon, I’d make him Prince Charming.
To me, a football star is already a superhero, so you’re adding onto something that already exists, so that becomes difficult.
He’d be sort of a God-like figure, maybe one of Thor’s pals. I’d be an Asgardian, a wonderful swordsmen and an absolute favorite of all the goddesses up there, and Odin’s favorite son. Thor would be very jealous of me, but hey, I’m sorry, that’s just the way I am.