Marvel Comics maven Stan Lee chats with Yahoo! Movies
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Lee is all about keeping it real in a fantastic universe. Think you haven't seen Lee before? Think again. He's had numerous movie cameos alongside Iron Man, the Hulk, and Spider-Man — just look for his sarcastic zinger in "The Avengers," premiering in theaters May 4. To get pumped for the summer's first surefire hit, check the documentary about Lee's life and mind — and bossy wife! — "With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story" on EPIX.
I chatted with the nonagenarian mensch this week:
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Thelma Adams: What was your favorite costume in the movie adaptations of your comics?
Stan Lee: In "Fantastic Four," I was most impressed with the way the actor Michael Chiklis looked like the Thing. He was the Thing, the whole deal. And then, of course, Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man was terrific. And you couldn't be a better Iron Man than Robert Downey Jr. and Patrick Stewart as Professor X. We've been so lucky all of these characters have been done so beautifully.
TA: All great. But hasn't there been one less-than-super superhero?
SL: Well, um, I thought that Dr. Doom could have been done a little better. I thought the actor was great, Julian McMahon. But I just think that the interpretation wasn't exactly the way I had envisioned it.
TA: You pop up in so many of the movies, including "The Avengers," often as a man on the street. Do you have a favorite cameo?
SL: I loved them all, the one where I couldn't get into the wedding of Reed and Sue in "Fantastic Four." It was very funny. I was mistaken for Hugh Hefner [in 'Iron Man'].
TA: Do you make sure they're written into the script?
SL: I'm a big cameo freak, but they're never my idea. I get to the studio, and the director tells me what he wants. I'm just a hired hand. Alfred Hitchcock decided what he wanted to do, but I kinda like it this way. I never know what to expect when I reach the set.
See a clip from 'With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story':
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TA: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
TA: That's a modest superpower. Why luck?
SL: Because if you have that, you have everything. The more I think about it, that would be the greatest power. If someone shoots at you, the bullet, it would miss you.
TA: That goes along with your image as a basic, down-to-earth guy. You were raised in the Depression. What would your parents think of how far you've come?
SL: How come you're not president of the United States? They were sure I would be.