Ty Simpkins, the young actor who played sidekick to Tony Stark as whiz kid Harley Keener in 2014's Iron Man 3, caught fans by surprise when he reprised the role for a cameo at Tony's funeral in Avengers: Endgame. Simpkins, who is now 17, apparently wasn't really expecting it either.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Simpkins described his reaction when he got the call from his manager about the possibility of being included in Endgame. "I was screaming so much in the car with my mom. My mom is like, 'What? What is it?' And I just didn’t tell her because it wasn’t confirmed. I didn’t want to jinx it or anything."
Simpkins has had an impressive Hollywood career since Iron Man 3, especially considering his age -- he even starred in 2015's blockbuster Jurassic World. However, he seems to have a special affection for his part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "I was praying that [Harley would] come back," he said. "I love being on set with the Marvel crew because they treat you so well there. They treat you like family. I was really happy that I got that call."
Robert Downey Jr. has stayed in touch with Simpkins over the past few years and was one of the first to hear about it when his part in Endgame was confirmed. Like Harley, Simpkins has great admiration for Tony Stark and a personal connection to his legacy. That seemed to come into play for his Endgame scene, although he had no dialogue:
"I didn’t get a script, but [the directors] came up to me and were like just think about what Tony meant to you and how he impacted your character’s life and your life," said Simpkins. "So I just thought about... how “Iron Man” is very sentimental to me and how he felt to Harley... I just kind of took that sentimental part of my real life and Harley’s life into the scene."
With major changes underway for the MCU, there has been speculation about Harley returning again. Simpkins doesn't know about the character's future, but it sounds like he would be fully on board if there's a chance: "I mean, I’d love that. I have no idea if it would happen, but I love that."
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos. The film is in theaters now.