Actor Terrence Howard appeared on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live Thursday night in a knit cap and a kimono, because, you know, that's what you wear for a television interview show notorious for getting its guests drunk to chat and take a few viewer questions.

When a caller asked why Howard didn't reprise the role of James Rhodes in Marvel Studios' Iron Man 2 -- a question asked frequently by fans of the Marvel Studios series, which has seen Don Cheadle in the role since Howard's departure -- the actor let the cat out of the bag: According to him, star Robert Downey, Jr. took the money he was promised in his contract, and the studio didn't object.

Here's Howard's full quote:

It turns out, in order for -- this is going to get me in a lot of trouble, but -- it turns out that the person I helped become Iron Man, when it was time to re-up for the second one, took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out.


We did a three-picture deal, so that meant we did the deal ahead of time. There was going to be a certain amount for the first one, a certain amount for the second, a certain amount for the third. They came to me with the second and said, "Look, we will pay you one-eighth of what we contractually have for you, because we think the second one will be successful with or without you."

Howard very carefully never mentioned Downey by name, but said he called his fellow actor to talk about the situation and Downey didn't call him back for three months. When host Andy Cohen asked how Howard feels about Downey now, Howard cryptically said, "Oh, I love him. God's gonna bless him."

Watch the video of Howard's response below.



It does seem like there's one pretty serious missing puzzle piece here. It isn't as if Rhodey was written out of Iron Man 2. He had a huge role, but was portrayed by Don Cheadle instead of Howard. So the apparent threat of doing the movie with or without Howard didn't have anything to do with the character of Rhodey.

Cohen's remark, "Two words: messy boots," doesn't make the situation doesn't seem all that much clearer.

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