Most people fantasize about starring in a Hollywood blockbuster. A choice few have had the chance to work in the industry from an early age. One good example is child actor Ty Simpkins. He was granted the opportunity of a lifetime, appearing opposite Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 3. He plays Harley, a local boy who becomes Tony Stark’s unlikely ally.
Simpkins gained lots of experience over the years, acting on television and in movies since he was a baby. He recently spoke with ScreenCrave about Iron Man 3, his love of comics and why he prefers X-Men over Superman.
Over the weekend, you became the most popular kid in the world after hanging out with Iron Man.
Ty Simpkins: Yeah! So a group of friends that I hang out with, most of my friends, they just kind of stand there and they just talk–mostly talk about stuff that they like. But then the day that Iron Man 3 came out, they all just started talking to me. I was like, “Whoa, okay, okay!”
One of the most entertaining parts of Iron Man 3 is the interaction between your character and Tony. What was it like working with Downey?
Ty Simpkins: It was really fun being with Robert Downey Jr. He was really nice. We got to hang out off-set. I got invited to go to Thanksgiving with him when we got back and I got to come to his son’s birthday party. It was really fun.
Are you a big comic book fan? Do you follow the Iron Man comics?
Ty Simpkins: I do like Iron Man comics and Marvel stuff. I read kind of like a mix of comics. I mostly read Star Wars comics. I like graphic novels but particularly ones that are a certain amount of size. If they’re smaller, then I’ll probably buy it. It needs to be like the right superhero, the right time line, and if I’m kind of in the mood to buy an Iron Man comic, I’ll buy an Iron Man comic. If I’m in the mood for Star Wars then I’ll get a Star Wars comic, that type of thing.
What do you love most about Iron Man in general?
Ty Simpkins: The thing I like about Iron Man comics is that he has no superpower and he’s just in a suit. He’s a techy, inventor kind of hero guy. He doesn’t have a superpower. Most superheroes have superpowers but stuff like Iron Man, Hawkeye. They’re just people who know how to fight.
Are you into any tech stuff similar to your character?
Ty Simpkins: I am interested in science-fiction and stuff. I’m not that big of a science nerd but I’m interested in science stuff, kind of like what my character Harley is into in the movie. What he’s kind of interested in, I would be interested in like the same thing. He’s interested in fixing cars, particularly Mustangs and I love Mustangs. They’re just the coolest thing. Then he fixes things and he builds things. I like building things.
What other superhero movies do you like? Are you into other Marvel films? Do you like X-Men? Superman?
Ty Simpkins: I’m not so much into Superman, and I’m not just saying that because I worked in a Marvel movie. I’m saying that because Superman has all the superpowers, and that’s just not fair to everyone else. He has flying. He has laser beams coming out of his eyeballs. He has invincibility, and somehow Lex Luthor always has kryptonite. How is that even possible? It’s like really hard to find kryptonite. But I am into Captain America, the Hulk. When I was little I loved the Hulk a lot. And that’s really all of the Marvel superheroes that I’m really actually into. I like X-Men. Fantastic Four is cool. I like X-Men because that’s like mutants, that’s not your everyday I got superpowers from radioactive stuff, or I had a meteorite fall on me and now I’m awesome, or something like that. It’s just kind of you were born that way. You were a mutant from the start and you’re actually a mutant, not a human who gained superpowers.
You said you were a big Star Wars fan. Are you excited for the next Star Wars movie?
Ty Simpkins: Yeah, I’m really excited! I want to get in on that.
Iron Man 3 is in theaters now in both 2D and 3D.