March 6, 2013 at 9:10 AM ET
"Iron Man" may be on the verge of releasing its third installment in theaters, but not everybody's a fan of the franchise. Terrence Howard, who portrayed Col. James Rhodes in the original 2008 movie -- and at the time was the highest-paid member of the cast -- now says doing the movie ruined his career.
During a press junket for his new film "Dead Man Down," he told Hollywood.com, "(The) worst thing I witnessed was 'Iron Man' killing my career." He then chuckled deeply and a little self-consciously, then added, "Or trying to. They tried to."
He may have a point: Howard was nominated for an Oscar for 2006's "Hustle & Flow," but post-"Iron Man" was taking on more TV roles, as in the short-lived "Law & Order: LA." But even a cursory look at Howard's career indicates the man does keep very, very busy (he has no fewer than 10 films in various states of production for 2013 alone).
Still, if Howard's feeling pinched after doing a big-budget action role (he was replaced by Don Cheadle for the "Iron Man" sequels), he may in part have himself to blame: He signed on early to the first film and got a big paycheck that couldn't be renegotiated once other stars -- Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges -- signed on. That meant a paycut "estimated as between 50 and 80 percent," according to Entertainment Weekly, for the sequel. (The magazine reported Howard also exhibited "difficult behavior" on set.)
But Howard remains pretty secure that he'll get his someday. As he added in the Hollywood.com interview, putting on a growly, faux-menacing voice, "I'm gettin' y'all. I'll get ya."
Maybe Iron Man should keep the suit handy.