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Q&A With Don Cheadle

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WebMD Magazine - Feature

In Iron Man 3, you reprise your role as War Machine. How is portraying a superhero different from other roles you have played?

The big difference is that I didn't have to get in a metal suit for my other roles. My character fits into established Iron Man lore, and Marvel takes care of that, but I tried to flesh it out.

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Are there times in real life when you wish you had War Machine’s powers?

When I was in the suit, I felt like a turtle on its back. As for War Machine's powers, I sometimes wish I could fly. That's a childhood fantasy, but it's something adults would want as well.

If you could choose your own superpower, what would it be and what would you use it for?

I don't know. To be able to see into the future? If I could do that, I'd like to say that I'd use it for good, but honestly I probably wouldn't always.

Who are your heroes? Who do you look to for inspiration?

In my career, I've seen a lot of people who are doing it in a way that makes sense, that works. I'm thinking of Denzel Washington in Devil in a Blue Dress, of director Paul Thomas Anderson, and of George Clooney. But I wouldn't trade my career with any of them. I focus on achieving longevity by being diverse and doing good work.

How did you prepare for your role as War Machine? Did you undergo an intense workout routine to become a superhero?

You do have to get in shape for superhero movies, but I was lucky. I've had a lot of roles that I had to hit the gym for, so I already knew my way around the weights.

What do you do to stay fit on a day-to-day basis? Do you have a regular workout that you stick to?

I have no groundbreaking moves that I do. I bike, I use free weights, I do Pilates, and I use a reformer [exercise equipment].

Do you have a health philosophy?

Vanity helps, especially if I have to be naked on set. But I'm not sure that that's the best prescription [laughs]. To live a healthy life takes discipline. It's a matter of how you eat, of how you rest.

What’s your best health habit?

I don't drink soda. I stay away from that.

What's your worst health habit?

The worst thing I do is work 14-hour days and then not get enough rest afterward. That's the most insidious thing. It tears you down. You get sick and you can't get better. That's a bad habit – not getting enough rest – so I try to be really mindful of that.

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