Gwyneth Paltrow on Iron Man 3: “Robert Downey Jr is a wimp!”

The actress gets to "kick ass" in the upcoming sequel, and says her co-star found wearing the superhero suit more of a challenge than she did

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He may play a superhero on the big screen but according to his co-star Gwyneth Paltrow, in real life Robert Downey Jr is a bit of a wimp.

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Iron Man 3 will see Paltrow don the mechanised suit that transforms Downey Jr’s Tony Stark into his crime-fighting alter ego – and the actress admits she was a little apprehensive the first time she stepped into the costume, having seen Downey Jr’s reaction to wearing it.

“I thought it was going to be terrible because in the first two movies Robert would put on the suit and start sweating,” said Paltrow. “He’d have a nervous breakdown and would meditate and cry. He was in hell.

“So, I was like, ‘Wow, I’d better start mentally preparing myself for the suit.’ And I put it on and was, like, ‘This guy is a wimp, it’s really not that bad.’”

In fact, Paltrow seems to have relished the chance to get physical, telling Graham Norton “I do get to kick ass. I get to do a bit of action and I get to wear the Iron Man suit for a while – it’s very cool.”

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Gwyneth Paltrow guests alongside Mo Farah and Lee Mack on The Graham Norton Show on Friday at 10:35pm on BBC1