In "Iron Man 3," a number of action sequences feature Tony Stark fighting off opponents with only a few pieces of his armor rather than the whole suit. Remarkably, however, Gwyneth Paltrow said the third installment in the immensely popular franchise had all the pieces lined up before shooting began.

"The great thing about '3' is that [director/writer] Shane [Black] and [writer] Drew [Pearce], we had a complete screenplay when we started, and that was great," Paltrow told MTV News. "The other two movies, we were writing as we were going, we were improvising the whole thing, and it was a much more difficult process."

While Paltrow's revelation sounds damning of the first two "Iron Man" movies and their creators, she insists that a variety of unavoidable circumstances, not a lack of creativity, demanded that approach. "It was no one's fault," she said. "It was just because of timing and this and that."

Paltrow also said that starting production with a script that not only featured a beginning, middle and end, but one that gave the characters a lot of substance, made her job as an actress much easier once she stepped onto set.

"When you start with a screenplay that's really, really well-thought-through and is dealing with deeper meanings and it works on a hugely commercial level, but goes a lot deeper — it was easy. It was, 'Oh, this is all here this time. This is great!' I could just think about what I'm doing and fill it all in."

"Iron Man 3" is now in theaters.

Check out everything we've got on "Iron Man 3."