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Sam Rockwell of ‘Iron Man 2’ chats with The State Press

This week, I was lucky enough to take part in a conference call with actor Sam Rockwell, one of the stars of “Iron Man 2.”

Rockwell has been working as a character actor for years with supporting roles in movies like “Galaxy Quest” and “Charlie’s Angels.” Recently, his popularity as an actor has become higher than ever with his acclaimed leading performances in “Snow Angels” and “Moon.”

In “Iron Man 2,” Rockwell plays a slimy defense contractor named Justin Hammer. Rockwell is no stranger to superhero movies, though, having played Batman in the short film, “Robin’s Date” — and of course the Head Thug in the cinematic masterpiece “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

Strangely enough, Rockwell revealed in the call that originally auditioned for the role of Tony Stark in the first “Iron Man” picture. But the role, of course, went to Robert Downey Jr. Now Rockwell plays a nemesis of Iron Man who wishes to one-up Tony Stark with a line of Iron Drones.

Rockwell had previously worked with “Iron Man’s” director, John Favreau, on the 2001 movie “Made.” The actor says one of the reasons the two “Iron Man” movies work so well is because Favreau “knows how to make things real and has a bullsh-t meter.”

When I asked Rockwell if he anticipated being so successful when he set out to become an actor, he modestly replied,  “No, I thought I would just get some summer stock.”

Rockwell will collaborate with Favreau once again in 2011 with the film “Cowboys & Aliens” and has several other projects lined up.

Unfortunately, he has no information regarding “Iron Man 3” or who will be staring in the upcoming “Avengers” movie. However, he “hopes he’s in them.”

The ending of “Iron Man 2” does hint at one of the heroes who will be teaming up with “The Avengers” though. But I won’t dare give that twist away.

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