Why Robert Downey Jr. Stands By His Most Controversial Role

by Jeremy Spirogis
Robert Downey Jr. at the premiere of

For over 10 years, Robert Downey Jr. played Tony Stark aka Iron Man when you look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But just a couple months after debuting because the personality, Downey took using one of the most extremely questionable functions of their profession. He begun summer time as a superhero and finished it as “a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude.”

Tropic Thunder exploded into theaters on Aug. 13, 2008. Amid mostly reviews that are positive, manager Ben Stiller’s Hollywood satire courted debate at each change. Stiller plays an action hero whoever profession goes south after he plays a mentally challenged individual. At the full time, Stiller’s Simple Jack — one of Tropic Thunder‘s several movies-within-the-movie — transported the brunt associated with the critique.

In hindsight, Downey’s role might be considered in the same way problematic. Yet, the star however defends their operate in Tropic Thunder.

Robert Downey Jr. at the premiere of 'Dolittle'
Robert Downey Jr. during the premiere of ‘Dolittle’ | Tristar Media/WireImage

Robert Downey Jr. is significantly a lot more than just Tony Stark/Iron Man

Younger moviegoers would be somewhat warranted in thinking about Downey entirely whilst the fast-talking “genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.” After all, he played Iron Man not just in their own trilogy however in four Avengers movies, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Captain America: Civil War, and also a short cameo in The Incredible Hulk.

Downey’s just experienced a few non-Marvel movies subsequently, like the devastating Dolittle. But the star has been around the limelight considering that the mid-1980s. Following roles in movies such Weird Science, The Pick-Up Artist, and Less than Zero, Downey earned his very first Oscar nomination for 1992’s Chaplin.

Even amid their individual battles, the star delivered a few unforgettable turns, including promoting functions in Home when it comes to Holidays and Wonder Boys. Then, soon before Iron Man, he starred in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang from Shane Black — that would later direct Iron Man 3 — and David Fincher’s Zodiac.

Why he defends their questionable turn-in ‘Tropic Thunder’

With their star brighter than in the past, Downey used up Iron Man because of the unlikeliest of functions. In Tropic Thunder, he plays an Australian star that has their coloration modified for a Method overall performance as an African-American soldier. In essence, Downey wears blackface for pretty much the film’s entire runtime. However, in a current meeting on The Joe Rogan Experience, he explained the reason why he feels their overall performance isn’t offensive.

I began thinking, “This is a terrible idea. Wait a minute.” Then I thought … we get to keep up to type the outrageous self-involved hypocrisy of musicians and whatever they believe they’re permitted to do on celebration, only my estimation. … And 90 % of my black colored pals were love, “Dude, that was great.” I can’t disagree with [the other 10 percent], but I’m sure where my heart had been. I do believe it’s never a justification to accomplish a thing that’s away from location and away from its time, but for me, it absolutely was putting a blasting limit on [the issue]. … Tropic Thunder is approximately exactly how incorrect [blackface] is. So we simply take exclusion.

To Downey’s point, Tropic Thunder never ever condones those things or mindset of their Kirk Lazarus character. In the film, one other characters — particularly Brandon T. Jackson’s Alpa Chino — constantly call completely Lazarus’s behavior. By the conclusion, Tropic Thunder actually reviews regarding the insecurity, hypocrisy, and identification crisis that plague men and women into the activity business.

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The risky part almost obtained Robert Downey Jr. an Oscar

Amazingly, not just did Downey’s Tropic Thunder overall performance perhaps not make the ire of moviegoers or experts. It also achieved just what not the MCU could: making the star an Academy Award nomination. The Oscars tend to be infamously biased against comedies generally speaking, making the nod also sweeter for Downey.

Ultimately, he destroyed Best Supporting Actor trophy to Heath Ledger’s iconic overall performance in The Dark Knight. However, it is amazing to believe such a seemingly politically wrong motion picture might have gotten that far. As Rogan and Downey reveal when you look at the video, Tropic Thunder — despite its obvious satire — may not be made now after all, allow along get serious honors recognition.

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