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Robert Downey Jr - Film Club

Robert Downey Jr - Film Club

Posted 02 April 2015   |   1204 views   |   Women's Interest   |   Comments (0) Here, we profile one of the best-loved actors and bad boys of the silver screen and discover what he loves about settling down and playing superheroes

In an age when image is king,a tarnished reputation means a fast exit from Hollywood’s hallowed halls. The stakes are high in Tinseltown, and the cinema-going public vote with their feet, so no-one wants to take a risk on a fallen star. Except, that is, when his name is Robert Downey Jr. Here is a man who has achieved the impossible, making the quantum leap from the barren wasteland of drug addiction and stints behind bars to the giddy heights of being the highest paid actor in the world (according to Forbes, he earned $75 million between June 2013 and June 2014).

Remarkably, since going clean, he’s starred in six movies that have each been blockbusters at the box office, with two of them – The Avengers and Iron Man 3 – taking over $1 billion. And there’s more on the way, with a trio of upcoming releases set to seal his spot as Hollywood’s most bankable star. Avengers: Age of Ultron (due for UK release on 23 April),
Captain America: Civil War and Sherlock Holmes 3 are all predicted to be box-office hits for the actor who has defied convention to become a much-loved leading man.

When no studio would touch him because of his errant track record, there were those who were prepared to put their own professional reputation and income on the line to give him the high-profile role that put him back in the spotlight. Downey Jr knows that the actor-director Mel Gibson who took a chance on him, covering the high-risk star’s insurance bonds from his own fees for the 2003 film The Singing Detective, has put him on the road to where is today.

‘There’s no denying that Iron Man has put me in a position to do many other things,’ he says. ‘I originally pursued the film because I’d seen Keanu Reeves and Johnny Depp succeed with their own film franchises [The Matrix and Pirates of the Caribbean] and I wanted my son to see his dad acting in that kind of movie. I wanted it to be the kind of movie you can take your kid to, and explore the comic-book hero genre with a mix of escapism and intelligence. I’m also proud of the fact that I’m a leading man who can do major block-busters and be that Harrison Ford kind of guy. It’s not a bad place to be.’

So, in this, the year he celebrates his 50th birthday, Downey Jr can finally look forward to a future free of his past problems. Happily settled with his wife of 10 years, producer Susan Levin, and their two children – three-year-old son, Exton, and baby daughter Avri Roel, he is ready to count his blessings. ‘Susan is the foundation of that process,’ he says, clearly smitten with the woman he met on the set of Gothika, but who initially spurned his romantic advances. ‘Thanks to her, I’ve been able to turn my life around in every sense. So this is a beautiful new chapter in my life, and I’ve been able to bury most of my character defects and throw myself into a space where I take pleasure and joy in basic things.’


The latest Avengers offering sees Robert Downey Jr reprise his role as Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, alongside an all-star cast including Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, James Spader and Samuel L Jackson as an assortment of characters from the Marvel Comics team, Avengers. With S.H.I.E.L.D destroyed and the superheroes needing a well-earned break from saving the world, Stark launches a dormant peacekeeping programme called Ultron. But his plan backfires when the artificial intelligence system decides that humans are the enemy, setting out to eradicate them, forcing Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk and co. to halt the process.

Fun, frantic and full of amazing special effects, Avengers: Age of Ultron is the 11th instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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