Although he recently won a Golden Globe Award for his work in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, actor Robert Downey Jr. isn’t one to minimize the significance of his 11-year tenure as Marvel Cinematic Universe centerpiece Tony Stark/Iron Man, a role he’s now synonymous with.
The conversation veered towards RDJ’s MCU run during the 58-year-old actor’s sit-down with fellow actor Rob Lowe for an episode of Lowe’s “Literally!” podcast when all of a sudden, Downey Jr.’s phone started ringing.
“Is that some Marvel s—?” Lowe asked. “Are you going to break some stories here?”
“Not just yet,” Downey Jr. replied.
“You know what I say. That phone is going to ring, baby, and I want to be on that call. I want to be negotiating for you,” Lowe added in semi-jocular fashion. “I know what your deal is. Here’s what you do. You go, ‘I’ll come back and I’ll play Tony Stark for you guys again since you fucked everything up. But I want a gazillion dollars. I know what that number should be, and I want first dollar gross of every ensuing movie. That’s what I would do.”
“That sounds quite hostile!” Downey Jr. replied, laughing.
Both Downey Jr. and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige have been adamant that RDJ won’t ever return as Iron Man in the MCU. Downey Jr. went on to film Dr. Dolittle (2020), his first movie following his exit from the MCU in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. Downey Jr. admitted to Lowe that the film “just didn’t work” and that he was shocked by the overall experience and the reception to the movie after being in the “cocoon” of the MCU movies for over a decade.
“I felt so exposed after being in the cocoon of Marvel where I think I did some of the best work I will ever do, but it went a little bit unnoticed because of the genre,” Downey Jr. said. “[I] did myself a favor, because the rug was pulled so definitively out from underneath me and all the things that I was leaning on as opposed to what my understanding of confidence and security was, boy did they evaporate. And it rendered me teachable.”
Downey Jr. is currently one of the top contenders to win an Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor category at the 9th Academy Awards ceremony for his performance in Oppenheimer, where he played Lewis Strauss, one of the original members of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. If he does, it would make the fact that Robert Downey Jr. admits his work as Iron Man in the MCU was some of the best of his career, “but it went a little bit unnoticed because of the genre” even more meaningful.
What do you think of the fact that Robert Downey Jr. admits his work as Iron Man in the MCU was some of the best of his career, “but it went a little bit unnoticed because of the genre”? Do you agree? Let us know in the comments.