Film, Interviews
May 12, 2013


If you’ve seen Iron Man 3, you can’t help but be wondering more about the young boy who plays oppostie Robert Downey Jr. (and spoiler alert! pretty much saves Iron Man) in this third installment of the franchise.  PPLA has got your answers, as we were lucky enough to chat with young Hollywood’s rising star Ty Simpkins.

Fans of the Marvel Comics universe know that it is defined by the fact that not only is it filled with superheroes but almost all of them have serious psychological issues. Take a look at The Avengers. Captain America is a man out of time, an ordinary guy turned into a super soldier who must find his own path in an unfamiliar future. Thor was banished from his kingdom for being too vain. And Hulk, well that one is obvious. Almost every single major character created by Marvel suffers from a serious trauma that has made them the hero they are today. It is a factor that has made the comic book company a pioneer in the genre and the powerhouse they have become. No superhero exemplifies that better than Tony Stark.

With no superpowers he has reached the level of titans through his ingenuity, intellectuality and sheer charisma. This summer’s Iron Man 3 brought that front and center. Full of panic attacks and unable to cope with the events from The Avengers, Stark found himself on the run from The Mandarin in Tennessee aided by the young misfit Harley. With the help of the young boy he eventually finds his peace and becomes the hero we all know and love. The role of Harley is monumental to the fate of the Tony Stark and without him both the character, and the film, wouldn’t be a success. Harley was played by the young and talented Ty Simpkins who, at just 11 years old, already has an extensive film resume.

He first appeared on screen at just three weeks old in One Life to Live and has gone to work alongside major players like Russell Crowe (The Next Three Days) and Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road). Most recently, he went on to grace the cover of the horror film Insidious and will return this fall in its sequel. Press Pass LA sat down with Simpkins and found out what it was like working on set with his hero.

PPLA: Were you a fan of the Iron Man franchise before you got the role?

TS: I was a big fan. I remember my dad taking me to see the first one when I was six years old; I was scared at first. We were sitting right up in the front row. After that I saw it again and really loved it! He’s my favorite superhero.

PPLA: What was it like working with Robert Downey Jr.?

TS: He’s really awesome! He made it really easy for me to be on set and work with him. If I wasn’t comfortable with any of the scenes he told me we could change them.

PPLA: What was one of your favorite parts of working on the movie

TS: I loved hanging out with Robert Downey Jr. both on and off the set. He made feel really comfortable the whole time I was working with him.

PPLA: You have Insidious 2 coming out soon. Can you tell me a little more about that?

TS: Yes! That does come out soon. That was very fun to film and be a part of, I can’t wait to see it.

Follow Ty’s adventures @TySimpkinsActor.