The 'chef' with an iron hand

Heart-warming comedy

The 'chef' with an  iron hand

He is the man behind of one of the biggest superhero series — ‘Iron Man’. Jon Favreau not only directed the first and second part of the much-loved series but
was also the executive producer of the third part.

Also the producer of ‘The Avengers’, Jon shows his lighter side in ‘Chef’, which hit the screens in India on Friday. The heart-warming comedy, of which he is the actor, director and writer, has an enviable cast of Sofia Vergara, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson.  

“The movie is about a successful chef who loses his job, starts his own food truck and travels across the country,” he tells Metrolife.

And it not only revolves around food but also relationships as Jon plays the role
of a divorced parent who goes on a joyride with his son and ex-wife (played by Sophia Vergara).

“The movie is also about being a good parent as my character starts cooking
and bonding with his son in the process,” he explains.

As a father of three in reality, Jon could relate to his role. “But the movie was filmed very quickly and some parts were really hard. There are so many responsibilities as an actor. But since I’m an actor myself, I understood the story better.”

He enjoyed working in the kitchen as he reveals, “A part of the fun was to show different kinds of food and make them look delicious.”

But not everything was fun as Jon trained hard under chef Roy Choi, who is famous for his Korean food in Los Angeles. This made Jon realise how tough a chef’s life actually is. “They have a difficult time.

They have long hours,” he says. A big foodie in real-life too, he says, “I’m in California. So we get all types of food, be it Korean or French.” What about Indian? 

“My wife and I like going to an Indian restaurant inLondon. Do you know any good Indian restaurants in Los Angeles?” he asks! 

The spices don’t bother him much as he says, “I like the chutneys. The flavours are bold and strong. I also like the long preparations, marinades and sauces —
all the things that chefs like,” he adds.

Working with his ‘Iron Man’ stars Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson made the film all the more memorable. “It was a huge reunion,” he recalls.

“They both started off doing independent films and were kind enough to take less money from me for this one,” he adds. Speaking fondly of Robert, who is a good friend, he says, “He is a very funny guy.

So it was fun to do comedy with him as he is very spontaneous. He likes to change the dialogues a lot. But I understand him better now.” 

How different is a big film like ‘Iron Man’ from a relatively small movie like ‘Chef’? “A movie like ‘Chef’ takes less time and money but gives you more freedom to tell a story,” he answers. 

Currently, Jon is working on ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ of which he is the executive producer and ‘The Jungle Book’, which he is directing. “I have seen a number of
Indian Amercian films like ‘Bend It Like Beckham’, Salaam Bombay, ‘Monsoon Wedding’, ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.

 In fact ‘The Jungle Book’ is based in India and we are working on the graphics.
My crew has been coming to India for inspiration and I might come too,” he signs off.

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