Sunday, May 03, 2015

828. I love you, Robert Downey Jr., but...

In an interview he gave during the promotion for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Robert Downey Jr. brought up how he generally doesn't care for independent filmmaking.  Read about it here.

Now, I may be misconstruing the guy, but...really?  Indy filmmaking saved your career, buddy.  It was buzz from movies like 2003's The Singing Detective, 2005's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and for me personally appearances in 2007's Lucky You and Charlie Bartlett where I began to like him at all.  This was all post-scandal/rehab/Robert-Downey-Jr.-is-dead-to-Hollywood! material.  I know he came up from the '80s, but I have never seen an '80s Robert Downey Jr. movie.  There are people now who probably aren't particularly aware that he's ever been known for anything but Iron Man.

And don't get me wrong: I'm absolutely glad that the guy had this remarkable comeback.  He's the best thing (aside from Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson) about the Avengers movies, and easily the reason they became so big in the first place.  Tony Stark, in the hands of Robert Downey Jr., is absolutely the second coming of Jack Sparrow.  Because of Iron Man, he's gotten to make other successful films, too (Tropic Thunder, the Sherlock Holmes series, Due Date).

It just seems that he's started to let it go to his head.  It's natural.  Any sustained success, for anyone, usually leads to this.  It's the way to world works.  But it's also disappointing, because when you looked up the definition of "humble," just a few years ago, you would have seen this guy's face next to it.  He took it in stride, seemed completely grateful at this unlikely turn of events.  And I'm not saying he needed to feel grateful or that he should feel humble, but...seriously dude, some of your best movies were low-budget, little-seen flicks.  I don't know if he had miserable experiences making those movies, but for me it's hard to imagine Robert Downey Jr. without movies like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Charlie Bartlett in his credits.  I'd watch The Soloist a thousand times before caring about whether or not his latest movie was easy to make, had a huge budget, and made hundreds of millions.

Does this diminish his credibility?  Yeah.  That's what I'm saying.  Certainly you can't expect everyone to like the craft of what they do.  And this is a guy who has spent most of his life making movies.  But it also seems like he's saying, now, that it's only worth it if, yes, it's easy to make, has a big budget, and makes hundreds of millions of dollars.  Thereby diminishing a large portion of his legacy in roles other than those spent in tin suits.

But the thing is, it doesn't really matter what Robert Downey Jr. thinks.  It's his job to make movies.  What happens to those movies once he's made them is no longer in his hands.  (This begins to relate to a discussion that has unfolded elsewhere, but I won't get much more into that here.)  So maybe whatever he's saying in press statements now doesn't matter after all.  He's also had people chuckling recently because of how suavely he handled walking away from a different interview that wanted to touch on a different aspect of his past entirely.  Whatever.  Let's talk Iron Man!  And move on...



4 comments:

Pat Dilloway said...

He appeared in Jon Favreau's indie flick "Chef" which seems kind of ironic, but then I guess he did kind of owe Favreau for the Iron Man gig.

Tony Laplume said...

I felt bad for Favreau that Chef was such a dismal failure. What about Iron Chef? Oh, wait...

Michael Abayomi said...

I think I sorta understand what he meant. Still, it is very easy for him to make such a statement now that he is in the limelight, as opposed to then when he was trying to get clean and stage a comeback.

Tony Laplume said...

Some people have attributed his current perspective to what may be a kind of midlife crisis.

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