Have you ever noticed the reality gap between Hollywood's version of congressional hearings (tense, fast-paced, and always jam-packed) and the real thing? If so, you're not alone, and one former Capitol Hill staffer is trying to help.
 
The plot of "Iron Man 2," the comic book blockbuster that swept box offices last weekend, hinges on a scene in a fictional Senate hearing. And for once, it seems, Hollywood relied on an actual former Capitol Hill staffer.
 
In order to give the film an authentic Senate feel, directors called in political strategist Todd Bouldin, who worked closely with director Jon Favreau (not to be confused with White House speechwriter Jon Favreau), as well as actors Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow (both shown here) and Don Cheadle to make sure the details of the hearing reflected the real personalities, language, and rhythm of the upper chamber as much as possible.
 
Bouldin knows what he's talking about: During nearly a decade in politics, he worked for Vice President Al Gore, Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and former Rep. Bob Clement (D-Tenn.) before moving to Los Angeles in 2003 to teach at Pepperdine University.
 
Bouldin explained a few of the changes he made to "Iron Man 2" during an interview with ITK. For instance, he added lots more congressional staff, interns and pages around the senators.
 
He also corrected a term used repeatedly by Downey in early versions of the script, that something be "put into the minutes" of the hearing. Moviegoers will note that Downey says "put this into the record" on the big screen.
 
Bouldin even added cufflinks to the senators' wardrobes. 
 
Despite his best efforts, Bouldin admitted that there are still a few things in the scene that don't make sense. For example, actor Sam Rockwell stands up and walks around while giving testimony, courtroom-style. And Cheadle's character walks into the room moments before he testifies, a big no-no in real life.
 
Perhaps the most authentic character in the film is Bouldin himself, who was cast as an extra in the scene. Look for him as “Senate aide” on the right side of the room.