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Credit: Gage Skidmore

Film

The movie that helped Robert Downey Jr break into the Marvel Universe

Robert Downey Jr has experienced a unique career trajectory that very few actors have actually managed to pull off. Starting out as a quasi-member of the Brat Pack, he starred in several popular projects before his career came to a halt due to extensive issues with substance abuse. However, Downey Jr turned it all around and acquired unprecedented amounts of success in various domains.

Although Downey Jr was completely apathetic towards his acting career during that period of heavy drug use and multiple encounters with the law, the actor climbed his way to the very top. A major force that provided the necessary momentum to his ascent is definitely his portrayal of Tony Stark or Iron Man in the immensely popular superhero films by Marvel.

Most of the actors fans will often cite that specific role as their personal favourite, especially after the character’s sacrifice to save the universe. However, Downey Jr considers another film role to be the most important and pivotal moment of his career because it helped him break into the Marvel Cinematic Universe which ended up changing his life.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is, I think, in some ways the best film I’ve ever done,” Downey Jr revealed in an interview. “It wound up being a calling card. It came out, and it bombed, but Jon Favreau saw it, and he said, ‘This guy could do an action movie.’ And so that wound up being my calling card into the Marvel Universe.”

However, the actor still regards his involvement in the MCU to be a major step forward for his acting. “There’s been two times where I’ve gone into a feverish-almost-like-a-waking dream in prep for something,” Downey Jr said while describing his attachment to playing Charlie Chaplin in the 1992 biopic as well as his devotion to Tony Stark.

According to Downey Jr, a lot of emotional weightage had been assigned to the role by him. He channelled some of his own experiences into the billionaire playboy eccentric persona: It’s not so much that I related to him, as much as I just presumed that it was my destiny to build this character around all of my experiences.”

When asked about a possible resurgence of the character, the actor noted: “The war for me is over. I personally have alighted to greener pastures.” Since then, he has starred in Dolittle which had an underwhelming reception but he is set to appear in one of the biggest upcoming projects – Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer.