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EXCLUSIVE: Don Cheadle on Playing a 'Metal Dude' in 'Iron Man 3' and His Real-Life Superheroes

Actor Don Cheadle shows off his pearly whites.

"I had a great time in this movie being outside of the suit and getting to really be a part of the action as a regular guy," says Don Cheadle on starring in the collosal blockbuster, Iron Man 3. Cheadle spoke with about playing an action hero, his experience filming the movie and who his real-life superheroes are.

ESSENCE: Your character, War Machine, is pretty intense. Can you relate to him at all?
DON CHEADLE: I don’t know that I really relate to him personally, but it’s a big, fun, action fantasy movie where I get to play a metal dude for some of it and then for the rest of it just a human being. I had a great time in this movie being outside of the suit and getting to really be a part of the action as a regular guy.

ESSENCE: How does one prepare to play a super hero?
CHEADLE: I bought a cape and tried to fight a human size tuna can. [Laughs] No, I really just read the comic, got involved with the script and really tried to make him what he was in the second movie but even more beefed up.

ESSENCE: Did you do your own stunts in this movie?
CHEADLE: Yes, I do. There’s a bunch of stuff going on in the third act when we’re outside of the suits running around on containers and all of the wire work.

ESSENCE: Who was your favorite super hero growing up?
CHEADLE: I didn't really read a lot of those kinds of books as a kid. I guess I didn't really get into them until I got to college when I started reading Wolverine and Dark Knight.

ESSENCE: Who do you consider a real life super hero in your own life?
CHEADLE: The people around me and my parents. Especially my dad, knowing what it takes as a father myself to raise a family.

ESSENCE: Is there someone you act as a real life super hero towards?
CHEADLE: I hope for my kids and my wife that I’m someone they know who can come swoop in and save the day.

ESSENCE: What other projects can we expect from you in 2013?
CHEADLE: I’m going to take the rest of 2013 off. I’m doing a lot of things with my production company, developing shows, movies and plays. I won't be going back to work until August when House of Lies starts up again.

Iron Man 3 opens in theaters today.