Terrence Howard Found It Hard Working With Gwyneth Paltrow in ‘Iron Man’ Because She Was ‘so Beautiful’

As many know, Marvel’s Iron Man film once featured Terrence Howard working alongside several major stars. One of those stars was Gwyneth Paltrow, who he found too beautiful to collaborate with.

Terrence Howard was attached to ‘Iron Man’ before the film even got started

Terrence Howard on Extra.
Terrence Howard | Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Howard was a part of the Iron Man film since the movie was still developing out of its idea phase. At the time, the Empire star made conversation with producers and managers that were involved in the beginning stages of the project.

These meetings gave Howard an early start on playing Tony Stark’s best friend James Rhodes.

“I got a great manager, Victoria Fredericks who was all over this a long time before. Me and Avi Arad had spoken at Mike Medavoy’s party, one of the parties he throws. He smiled at me like we were going to work together. Then about six months later, it all happened. I was taken by surprise by it. I’m still in shock by it,” Howard explained in a 2008 interview with Collider.

Terrence Howard said it was hard working with Gwyneth Paltrow because she was too beautiful

Starring in Iron Man meant that he had to work with a cast and crew he’s never collaborated with before. The film’s star, Robert Downey Jr, was someone Howard was already a fan of due to seeing him in prior films.

But working with the actor meant not only getting to know Downey personally, it also presented the opportunity to learn from him.

“I mean, he’s brilliant. Every day he rewrites his script. Every single day. We’ve got great writers but every day he will sit there and spend the first hour and a half making it perfect, making it better. He has this light, jovial nature about him that floats everywhere and floats everywhere,” Howard said. “Therefore when he focuses in on something, it’s powerful. It’s magical. He’s really probably one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with in my life.”

He had similar kind words for Gwyneth Paltrow. But Howard was so struck by the Oscar-winner’s looks that it admittedly distracted him from his work.

“We’ve had a couple scenes but Gwyneth is hard to work with because she’s so beautiful,” he quipped. “You try not to flirt with her. You don’t want to flirt but you’re hoping somewhere in your heart, ‘I’m hoping she likes me. I’m hoping that she likes me and that she’ll leave Coldplay to come and hang out with me.’ I’ve got two more pictures to work on her. Let him mess up.”

Why Terrence Howard didn’t return for ‘Iron Man 2’

Although passionate for the film at first, financial matters kept Howard from reprising his role as Rhodes in the franchise. According to Howard, Marvel didn’t hold up their end of the original bargain they made with the Crash actor. Instead of paying him the amount they initially promised, Marvel allegedly offered a much lesser salary to Howard for the sequels.

“The second time, [the studio] said ‘We think the movie will be successful with or without you. So, instead of the $8m that we said we were gonna pay you, we’re going to let you come back for a million dollars,'” Howard once told Sway in the Morning. “We did a three-picture deal already, [but] I forgot, I didn’t know it wasn’t a mutually binding contract; it was only beneficial for them and they could bring me back or not. They can honor it or not.”

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