“A dark fact of Iron Man 3”: Tear Jerking Moment of Gwyneth Paltrow With Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man Helmet Has a Tragic Backstory

Iron Man 3 Pays An Emotional Tribute To An F1 Legend

"A dark fact of Iron Man 3": Tear Jerking Moment of Gwyneth Paltrow With Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man Helmet Has a Tragic Backstory

Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man franchise was an instant classic that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe that the fans know and love today. While most fans prefer watching the 1st or the 2nd film they forget that a third film is there. RDJ’s Iron Man 3 does not try to fit in with the franchise as it wraps up the character arc of Tony Stark in the Iron Man film trilogy. Hence, this is the reason why this film is the most underrated film not only in the franchise but in the entire MCU.

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony StarkRobert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark

Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 was different from the first two films, as it was more character-driven, rather than the story. As a result, numerous tear-jerking moments got the viewers crying like little children. One of the most emotional moments of the film is directly inspired by Ayrton Senna’s death, where his sister was crying while holding his iconic yellow helmet.

Iron Man 3’s Emotional Moment Was Inspired By Ayrton Senna’s Sister At His Funeral

Ayrton Senna was killed on May 1, 1994, after his Williams FW16 crashed into a concrete barrier while he led the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. His death came one day after Roland Ratzenberger, an Austrian driver, had also lost his life when he crashed his F1 car into the wall during qualifying. Senna was considered to be a generational talent and his untimely demise had devasted his fans.
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man 3Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man 3

Needless to say, the Frenchman’s family was devastated and in his documentary Senna, his sister was seen kissing his brother’s iconic yellow helmet and wept tears of grief. An Instagram channel (@f1moti), shared a reel on the platform, where it stated that Drew Pearce, the writer of Iron Man 3 had shared on his Twitter that Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts grieving scene in Iron Man 3 scene was directly inspired by Senna’s sister can be seen “doing the same at the funeral.”

“A dark fact of Iron Man’s 3. Pepper holding the helmet next to his head is inspired by the image of Ayrton Senna’s sister doing the same at the funeral, as can be seen in the spectacular documentary “Senna”, about this brilliant and inspiring pilot.”

Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth PaltrowRobert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow

A user had also posted this scene on r/Marvel on Reddit. The scene was emotional and gripping, as Tony Stark was never the superhero type character but a flawed person just like us. Moreover, Stark was going through the PTSD of The Avengers’ aftermath and he got constant panic attacks and insomnia. These scenes show how Marvel knew what it was doing, as it created a meaningful story whilst giving tributes to legends in the real world.

Robert Downey Jr. Jokes On How His On-Set Injury Made Iron Man 3 Worth Watching

During an exclusive interview with GQ, Guy Pearce shared that the Dolittle actor mostly tried to perform the stunts by himself. Hence, in one such scene, he was meant to jump from one platform to another, while supported by a cable, but in the process broke his ankle during the third film.
“Robert broke his ankle in the middle of that film, ’cause he had to do a stunt where he had to jump from one platform down to another platform and be on a cable. They wanted to rehearse it, and he said, ‘No, I don’t need to rehearse it,’ and he jumped, and the guy holding the cable wasn’t ready or something, and he landed hard.” 
Robert Downey Jr as Tony StarkRobert Downey Jr as Tony Stark

However, Robert Downey Jr. believes that his injury was for the better rather than the worse as it had given time for script provisions that would only add to the film’s benefit, as he had told Entertainment Tonight.

“I did a write-up. Broke my ankle once but then that gave us time to do some more script provisions. It really isn’t that big a deal, it happens all the time. What doesn’t happen all the time is that the third movie in a franchise series winds up actually meeting the expectations of a pretty savvy audience.” 

Though injuries during an MCU film are rare occurrences, it is quite surprising that Robert Downey Jr. ended up in such a place.

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