***Disclosure: I received an all expense paid trip from Disney/Marvel to cover the Hollywood premiere of Iron Man 3. However, all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
In the film, 11 year old Ty plays a boy named Harley Keener, who becomes an unlikely friend and ally of Tony Stark, right when a friend is needed the most. Ty's performance, coupled with the insane amount of chemistry with Robert Downey, Jr., literally gave me chills. Ty is such a natural, and he gave quite an authentic and emotional performance. It's like he stepped out of himself and actually became Harley Keener. For an 11 year old to effortlessly pull this off is pretty darn amazing to me. In Ty Simpkins, we see a gigantic presence in a pint-sized package. This, my friends, is what movie magic is made of.
While I was in Hollywood for the Iron Man 3 red carpet premiere, Ty Simpkins came to hang out with us Mommy Bloggers, and gave us a fun and candid interview. We talked about his past roles, life as a kid, his future plans and projects, and of course, what it was like to work with Robert Downey, Jr. Here are a few highlights from my chat with Ty.
On Being A Child Actor....
Photo courtesy of Dear Crissy.
Ty Simpkins: So I’ve been acting since I was born. I was still in my mom’s stomach when the people called and asked me to be on this-- I think it was like at-- it was either a TV show or a soap opera. I’m not sure. But they asked me. And then-- Well, they didn’t ask me. They asked my mom. And she said I’m not born yet. But and then they said we’ll wait.
Q : Would you recommend this career?
Ty Simpkins: Well, it really just depends on opinion. But personally I would-- I would suggest acting.
Q : How do you find a healthy life balance?
Ty Simpkins: So like sometimes if we’re still in LA on the breaks we’ll still go back and go to school and stuff. And I’ll see my friends a lot. And then we film. And I have a studio teacher to
teach me unless I’m in summer. I still have a studio teacher. But I don’t learn (in the summer) .
Q : What’s your favorite way to pass time on set?
Ty Simpkins: Oh, well, it depends. Like if I’m in summer I usually hang out with like the studio teacher, like the one that was on this set was pretty awesome 'cause she had an iPad. And she had educational games. There was one really cool called Oregon Trail.But they made a modified version. And that’s just really awesome.
Q : Who are your biggest role models?
Ty Simpkins: So there’s Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans. Johnny Depp. And, uh, that’s it.
Q : Who is your biggest supporter?
Ty Simpkins : My biggest supporter? My mom.
On All Things Iron Man.....
Ty Simpkins: I think my favorite aspect of being my character is that I get to meet Tony Stark. But I’m similar to him. Because I’m a genius in the movie. And he’s a genius in the movie, of course, more of a genius than my character...
Ty Simpkins: So we got a call from my agent. And I was really excited. I’m like, oh, this is so cool. And then we went to the audition. But it was so top secret that we couldn’t look at the script until we got to the audition. And but it was really easy 'cause it was only one scene that was short. So, it was pretty easy. Then we got a callback. And I thought, oh, okay, cool, cool. This is awesome. I can’t believe I got a callback. So we went to the call back. The producers and the director were there . And we went through the scene only with one more scene. And that was a bit more difficult to learn because it was longer. It was a giant monologue-- like paragraph. And then-- and then we hadn’t heard for an even longer time. And then our agent said that we got a chemistry read with Robert Downey Jr. And I was really excited for that. And we flew out to North Carolina where they were filming the movie. And I was looking around and I was thinking, where is Robert Downey, Jr.? And I couldn’t find him. And they were just introducing me to everyone. And then, there was a guy with a hat and glasses. And I just completely looked past him. And then the lady that was introducing me to everyone said and you know who this is. And the guy took off the hat and the glasses. And it was Robert Downey Jr. I mean it was a really disguise. I don’t know how I missed it.
Q : Were you nervous when you met him?
Ty Simpkins: He actually asked me that. And I said, no, I’m just really excited to meet him.
Q : How did you react to getting the part?
Ty Simpkins: I screamed "Yes!" I was really excited. And I was at a cello class. And it kind of just made cello even better.
Q : How does it feel to be working with Robert?
Ty Simpkins: Oh, it’s awesome. Like literally, Robert Downey, Jr. is my favorite person.
Q : What was your biggest challenge during filming?
Ty Simpkins: Um, one line kept getting like annoying. And I had to say "retro-reflection panels". [LAUGHTER] And it was really hard. And then once the day was over I knew how to say it. That
happens a lot.
Q : How should kids prepare for watching this film?
Ty Simpkins: Oh, well, I haven’t seen the movie yet either. It’s gonna be my first time seeing it at the premiere tonight. But I did see the trailer. And there is stuff blowing up. If the kids are around my age and have seen the other Iron Man films and Marvel movies, they should be okay. I wouldn’t recommend seeing it in Imax 'cause I see a bunch of stuff in Imax like Jurassic Park 3-D. That was pretty loud. And I’m not a big fan of loud. But I did enjoy that. So, you might just want to tell them there is gonna be some like explosions. So you-- you just might want to be prepared for shocking things and stuff like that.
Q : If you can handle it so can they right?
Ty Simpkins: Yeah.
About Future Projects.....
Ty Simpkins: So I just finished "Insidious 2". That comes out in September. And I’m really excited for this movie called "Conversations with Andy". And it’s about a sixth grade kid who is having a tough time with his family. Like they’re getting a divorce and stuff. And then he meets Andy Warhol. And it-- Andy helps him out and stuff. So I’m really excited for that.
Ty Simpkins Is Still Just A Normal Kid.....
Q : What are some favorite non-acting activities?
Ty Simpkins: I like to play baseball. I also like to fence. And I like to make Lego stop motion videos.
Q : On You Tube?
Ty Simpkins: No, I don’t post them on You Tube.
Ty Simpkins Poses With The Iron Man 3 Bloggers.....
Photo courtesy of Dear Crissy
If you haven't seen any of Ty's films yet, now is the perfect time! Be sure to check him out in Iron Man 3, which is in theaters now!
Also, be sure to follow the Iron Man 3 bloggers on twitter, using the hashtag #IronMan3Event