Robert Downey Jr once picked the best movie of his career
(Credits: Far Out / YouTube Still)
As hard as it might be to believe now, casting Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark / Iron Man was a colossal gamble. Although Downey Jr’s career started well, with him receiving an Oscar nomination for portraying Charlie Chaplin in 1992, he suffered numerous legal issues related to his drug problems and even spent time in jail throughout the ’90s. After being persona non grata for many years, he finally returned to mainstream cinema in the mid-2000s, but he was more of a character actor playing supporting parts. Casting Downey Jr to headline Iron Man left many scratching their heads at the time.
Of course, it was a gamble that couldn’t have paid off any better. Downey Jr was perfect in the role of Tony Stark, and he continued playing the part for another 11 years, soon becoming one of the wealthiest movie stars in the world as a result. Considering what a dark place he used to be in, it’s hard not to smile at the thought of such an incredible comeback.
Downey Jr will always be associated with Iron Man, but there’s a lot more to his career than that. He has absolutely excelled in many, many other roles. To name just a few, there are Short Cuts, Natural Born Killers, Good Night and Good Luck, Zodiac and, of course, Tropic Thunder. That is an unforgettable comedic turn, if there ever was one. Likely, he will soon get his third Oscar nomination for his terrific performance in Oppenheimer, and, against the odds, also impressed in Guy Rictchie’s dreadful Sherlock Holmes films.
The man has been in countless smashing movies, and it’s conceivable that most film fans have a strong attachment to at least one effort from his filmography, but what about Downey Jr himself? What is his favourite film from his glittering CV?
Well, it’s a less well-known effort that comes from before he first donned the Iron Man suit. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, an action-comedy written and directed by Shane Black, who would later reunite with Downey Jr for Iron Man 3, is his proudest moment. Although the film was a box office flop, it was critically acclaimed and has become a cult classic, with Downey Jr’s comedic turn as Harry Lockheart, a thief pretending to be an actor, being heavily praised.
Downey Jr said: “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is, I think, in some ways the best film I’ve ever done. 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.”
It seems likely that Downey Jr would never have become Iron Man were it not for this role, so he certainly has a lot to thank the film for.