When Iron Man director Jon Favreau went looking for a real life muse to base his Tony Stark character on, Robert Downey Jr. pulled him aside and said, “We need to sit down with Elon Musk”.
“Musk, 38, is a rocket scientist,” Favreau says in a new write-up on the man in TIME. “He designed the Falcon 9 booster that may serve as NASA’s next vehicle to transport cargo and humans into space.”
“He is also a green pioneer,” he adds. “He helped create Solar City, the largest provider of solar-power systems in the U.S. And he designed the Tesla, one of the first electric cars of the modern era. Bob Lutz, the vice chairman of General Motors, credits him with catalyzing GM to move toward electric cars.”
So impressed with Musk was Favreau that he even gave the former Paypal founder a cameo in the Iron Man sequel; with Tony Stark asking to design an electric jetpack.
“Downey was right. Elon is a paragon of enthusiasm, good humor and curiosity — a Renaissance man in an era that needs them.”