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The One Thing That Drove Jeff Bridges Crazy On Set Of Iron Man

When people look back at 2008's "Iron Man" and the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's easy to forget just how awesome that first movie — and its cast — really was. Take the main villain for instance, Jeff Bridges, who would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor just two years later following his performance in 2009's "Crazy Heart." The 72-year-old screen legend has etched himself into Hollywood history through a litany of iconic movie roles, and for him, playing Obadiah Stane aka Iron Monger in "Iron Man" was actually something truly special to Bridges.

"It was Marvel's first adventure into making movies," he explained in a July 2022 interview with Vanity Fair as part of its "Breaks Down Career" YouTube series. "It was so lucky to have Jon on there and Downey because both of them are so, they're terrific improvisers."

When Bridges looks back at his time as Obadiah Stane, it's unfortunately not all rainbows and butterflies for "The Old Man" star. In fact, there was one thing that he says drove him "absolutely crazy" on set, to the point where he had to really evaluate his approach to the Marvel project.

Marvel refused to let Jeff Bridges, Robert Downey Jr., and Jon Favreau use altered scripts

According to Jeff Bridges, he, Jon Favreau, and Robert Downey Jr. had come up with an altered version of the "Iron Man" script during its early production stages. However, Marvel Studios refused to let them use it.

"We spent a couple of weeks working on the script, rehearsing together, because we didn't like the original script and we thought, 'Oh yeah, we fixed this, fixed that,'" Bridges recalled in his Vanity Fair interview. "And then came the first day of shooting, and Marvel kind of threw out our script that we had been working on, said, 'No, that's no good. It's gotta be this, that.' And so there was a lot of confusion about what our script was, what we were gonna say, ya know?" Bridges remembered being driven mad by the script switch and Marvel's insistence to stick to its creative roadmap. He told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016 that they had gone through two weeks of rehearsals and "basically rewrote" the entire movie before being forced to change back everything on the fly.

"We'd spend hours in one of our trailers going over lines...exploring how we gonna do it," Bridges said in the Vanity Fair interview, noting how improvisation from him and Downey Jr. was key. "Meanwhile, the crew is in the sound stage, tapping their feet saying, 'When are we gonna get this thing going?' And it drove me absolutely crazy." Things eventually worked out for Bridges in the end, though, following some inner soul-searching. "I made a slight adjustment in my brain and that adjustment was, 'Jeff, just relax. You're making a $200 million student film. Just relax and have fun,'" he said.