May 21st 2013
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Chloe Moretz; Rachel Weisz; Halle Berry; Amy Adams
Michelle Williams; Zoe Saldana; Helen Hunt;
Selena Gomez; Jennifer Lopez; Emma Stone;
Leonardo DiCaprio;Rosamund Pike; Mila Kunis;
Amanda Seyfried; Eric Bana; Anne Hathaway; Lena Dunham.
Robert Downey Jr strides into the Santa Monica beach front hotel room, hugs me hello and starts to pace around the table. He is wearing a cream loose knit sweater with a thin T-shirt underneath, soft grey elephant cords, neatly manicured facial hair. His eyes round puppy dog saucers.
He’s wiry. A body hard from work out. The eyes swivel and dart, they don’t want to miss anything. He talks fast, sometimes at tangents, but he talks as if whatever he has to say has to be expelled from him, an urgency and a passion.
He is carrying a tiny black suitcase. He flips it open to reveal Chinese herbs and other such pills. He is still pacing and talking as he paces. I wonder if it’s a ritual. Then he opens his mini-suitcase. Telling me he’s got nothing to hide. He wants me to see all his pills. He is dedicated to being as healthy as possible
Now one of the most sought after and richest actors on the planet, reputedly earning £31 million from his last movie The Avengers alone. He is the star of the money minting franchise Iron Man and also the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes franchise which has grossed more than $1 billion. It’s interesting to consider just how spectacular his success has been when many predicted he would not survive, not just in the industry but be alive at all.
We are here to talk about Iron Man 3 where he reprises his role as the eccentric but brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man. It is perhaps the most psychologically complex in the trilogy so far as Stark feels he must answer the question does the man make the suit or the suit make the man?
A similar line of questioning Downey must have asked himself. From 1996 to 2001 he was arrested various times on drug related charges. Rehab didn’t work. He trespassed when on parole. He had to do time in jail.
During that time though he never delivered less than 100 per cent on set and always turned up on time, even getting a Golden Globe in 2000 for his stint on Ally McBeal.
Iron Man 3 director and writer of Lethal Weapon, Shane Black, said that, ‘Tony Stark/Iron Man is the story of a true American hero. Robert Downey is the American hero. Someone who is passionate, sometimes misguided, sometimes pompous, a genius and a one time drunk.’ He says it with an affectionate smile and adds, ‘People don’t just come out of jail and become possibly the biggest actor in the world.’
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