Marvel star Robert Downey Jr. grew concerned that starring as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the major franchise that is the MCU had him concerned about his acting skills. Speaking with The New York Times, the actor, who received critical acclaim for his leading role in the MCU, was a “hundred percent” worried that he had become too reliant on specific techniques. Something that Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan was quick to quash.
“Yes. A hundred percent, and I knew there was a point where Chris Nolan was endorsing, let’s work those other muscles, but let’s do it while rendering you devoid of your usual go-to things.”
Downey Jr. kick-started the MCU with aplomb way back in 2008 with the first Iron Man before appearing throughout the franchise up until the blockbuster superhero hit Avengers: Endgame in 2019. While the actor may have grown concerned about his acting, his many performances as Tony Stark received acclaim, had major influence over how the character is portrayed in the comics, and helped the MCU become the multi-billion-dollar franchise that it has become.
Asked about the biggest movies and the “soul of cinema,” Downey Jr. feels that there are much better examples of cinema than the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“If you’re talking about, adjusted for inflation, the biggest movies of all time, ‘Gone With the Wind’ and ‘The Ten Commandments’ are there. I’m sure that in the years those movies came out, there were probably films that you and I would agree were a better representation of what cinema can be.”
Robert Downey Jr. Grew up in a Family That Rebelled Against the Summer Blockbuster
Continuing, Downey Jr. mused about growing up with a filmmaker father, Robert Downey Sr., and a family that “rebelled” against the idea of the summer blockbuster.
“The other side of it is that I was raised in a family that rebelled against the idea of a summer blockbuster having any merit and thought that the films that were preferred viewing that year weren’t any good, either.”
Now departed from the MCU, Downey Jr. will next star in an altogether different sort of blockbuster, featuring as part of an all-star cast in director Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. And it’s a shift that the actor is very happy about.
“So coming from that other place, entering the box-office-weekend-dominating place, then going into this spot now where I’m happy that I’m in this quality product — I’m happy that I regained my connection with a more purist approach to making movies.”
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin, Oppenheimer tells the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it.
Led by Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, Oppenheimer stars Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Benny Safdie, Michael Angarano, Josh Hartnett, Rami Malek, Kenneth Branagh, Dane DeHaan, David Krumholtz, Alden Ehrenreich, Matthew Modine, Jack Quaid, David Dastmalchian, Jason Clarke, Josh Peck, Alex Wolff, Casey Affleck, Gary Oldman and more.
Oppenheimer is scheduled for release on July 21, 2023, by Universal Pictures.