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NEW YORK -- James Rhodes can't wait to get into some armor. That much is clear from a very deliberate scene in the Iron Man movie.

Terrence Howard, who plays Rhodes, is eager to get into the armor, too. But he can wait -- a little, at least -- before becoming War Machine.

During last weekend's Iron Man press junket, Howard said that Rhodes becoming War Machine needs to be part of the character's emotional evolution.

"He has to be willing to take off his suit as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force first, and that is a hard thing to let go of, especially with the indoctrination," Howard said "Tony has already let go of his billionaire suit that he wore, the money-hoarding individual, and you gotta get naked to get into that suit, and Rhodey has to get naked first. And that's where Tony is winning now.

"You think Tony is being pulled by Rhodey? Tony is still pulling Rhodey up. 'You don't see it as clearly as I see it now, but here, take a look.' Because Rhodey's killed a thousand people with his planes, dropped bombs and bears no responsibility for it, but when that comes to face him, which hopefully they will do once Rhodey puts on that helmet that Tony has that's been geared towards his patterns and picks up on some of those things that Tony's responsibility and things that he's done. The computer in that helmet records the brain waves, and begins to jar Rhodey and the changes happen in him. He'll be a little more human."

Howard also pointed out it's possible Rhodes will put on a red-and-gold suit first, like he did the comics.

"The question is whether we will take the time to put on the Iron Man suit first and then have to fight with Iron Man to take it off me and then ultimately build a new suit for Rhodey or whether they go right into the second one of them building the suit," he said. "I would prefer to wait for the third one. I'd prefer to let it grow a little bit and then after the third one, they could go into its own franchise of War Machine later on. I don't want to introduce War Machine too early ... for my own monetary benefits."

Howard said he didn't watch what Robert Downey Jr. went through to wear the suit. "I wasn't going to see my child get circumcised, too," he joked.

Howard said he spent a month and a half on an Air Force base to prepare for the role.

"That indoctrination is real," he said. "You do become part of the 'we' mentality. The 'I' then disappears. The 'me' is no longer in existence. It is literally 'we."

Howard said he learned to be more courageous working with Downey.

"Robert will get up and say whatever comes to mind without any fear of being reproached at all. He had no fear of that," Howard said.

"Me, I feel gauged with some of the things I'm going to say. I never felt as honest as he was. I felt if I gave a 70 percent truth, that was good enough. And I've never been faced with a 100 percent honesty. And no matter what I would say, he would trump it."

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