Robert Downey Jr. talks about the process of leaving Tony Stark/Iron Man and the Marvel Cinematic Universe behind. Marvel Studios' original star officially bowed out of the franchise in the Joe and Anthony Russo-directed Avengers: Endgame. After playing genius billionaire Stark for 11 years, fans are naturally curious what the process was like for the actor as he prepared to step away from the beloved universe. Now, he opens up on what it felt like knowing that his time as Iron Man was coming to an end.
Banking on Downey to launch the Marvel Studios brand was a huge risk that Kevin Feige and his team took more than a decade ago. It's no secret that director Jon Favreau had to fight to get him cast in the part. After 2008's Iron Man, it was clear that he was the right actor to kick off the universe, and 10 films later, they sent him off in the most poetic way possible - a full arc for the character, in a farewell performance that could get Downey some love this coming award season.
Sitting down with Sam Jones for The Off Camera Show, the 54-year-old actor discussed his mindset leading up to his departure from the MCU, and in the aftermath of it. Downey describes his stint as the poster boy for the beloved franchise as being creatively satisfying but also very hard work, and "the closest I will ever come to being a trust fund kid," referring to the urge to become dependent on what seems like a sure thing. But despite years of being synonymous with Tony Stark/Iron Man, he maintains that he's not his work, and that no role or time period in his career defines him.
While he didn't talk about specific projects in the pipeline, it's clear that he wants to explore opportunities outside of what he worked with in the last decade. Downey is set to play Dr. John Dolittle in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, which is currently in post-production. He's also continuing working alongside his wife at their production company Team Downey with the HBO miniseries Perry Mason, starring The Americans’ Matthew Rhys in the title role. He's also revisiting one of his other franchise gigs, playing the headlining character in Sherlock Holmes 3, which recently booked director Dexter Fletcher. Outside of Hollywood, Downey's using his popularity to back a new program called The Footprint Coalition, aiming to use advanced technology for the good of the environment.
Downey didn't do many press junkets for either Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers: Endgame. He did attend the movies' official press conferences, but he rarely sat down with outlets to talk about the movie. In hindsight, that makes sense, considering that many of the spoilers for both films hinged on his eventual death. And since Marvel Studios worked relentlessly to keep the plot of the movies tightly under wraps, it would've been difficult for him to talk about them without giving something away with regard to his character's fate.
It's a major transition period in Downey's career at this point, but it's not like he'll have any scarcity when it comes to projects. As he said, his stint with the MCU somewhat hindered him in taking a few side projects here and there, and now he's ecstatic to try something new. There's no denying he has the acting chops, having played a myriad of varying characters. What's going to be tricky is shaking off the image he cemented playing Iron Man for 11 years in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Source: The Off Camera Show