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Gwyneth Paltrow: “You Can Only Be the Damsel in Distress for So Long”

Supergirly

Will we ever get tired of hearing Gwyneth Paltrow talk about suiting up for Iron Man 3? Probably at least not until we get to see the movie this weekend.

While Marvel hasn’t exactly been leading with images of Pepper and the suit in its marketing, it hasn’t been playing coy, either: Pepper Potts suits up at least once in Iron Man 3. Paltrow herself has been upfront about it in interviews, and a clip of her in the suit has even debuted in international trailers. But it’s great to hear her frame the plot point not just as something that’s cool visually, but as a subversion and necessary refutation of the damsel in distress trope; an important framing of Pepper as Tony’s equal, not just Tony’s girlfriend. In a different kind of story the framing that Pepper has already received as Tony’s assistant, advisor, and runner of his company might be sufficient for them to have an equal standing in the narrative. But in the superhero genre I think that such a reframing does indeed call for some interaction with the superpowers (or devices that confer superpower-like abilities on mere mortals) that so define the lead heroes and villains of superhero stories

Paltrow told MTV News:

I was really hoping that Pepper would be more engaged in this movie… We had talked about Pepper being in the suit in the second movie and then for a series of reasons it didn’t end up happening. So I was really happy, not only that she was wearing the suit, but that you see her really on equal ground with Tony in their interpersonal dynamic, and as a ceo, and then she’s got all this action… I think in order to move things forward and keep it fresh, you can only be the damsel in distres for so long, and then it’s old.

The folks behind Iron Man 3 talked about wanting Pepper to suit up last summer, as Marvel Entertainment was making its first official announcements about their post-Avengers Phase 2 plans, it was mentioned again as a definitive in an international event in November, and confirmed multiple times in the publicity lead up to the movie’s release this weekend. So far, box office and reviews have been positive… so it seems like Pepper’s superheroic debut isn’t the only enjoyable thing about Iron Man 3.

(via MTV Splash Page.)

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