Aside from his brilliant performance as Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr.’s work off-screen in the MCU proves that he’s the best choice for Iron Man.
Robert Downey Jr.’s work off-screen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe proves why he’s the best actor to play Iron Man. A new social media post from The Sunday Times claims that anyone with wit could play Tony Stark on the big screen, which understandably garnered intense backlash. Amidst the string of actors playing superheroes, Downey is one of the few who have become synonymous with his role. So, it only makes sense that this hot take was met with intense pushback.
Kicking off Marvel Studios was no easy feat, as Kevin Feige and his team had to put the rest of their character catalog as collateral just to secure funding for Iron Man. It didn’t help that they had some unconventional choices when it came to assembling the team for the project, as – for example – Director Jon Favreau wasn’t the established blockbuster filmmaker that he is today. His position was similarly not aided by the fact he pushed for Downey to play Marvel’s new biggest role; while the actor has incredible talent, he was deemed a risky choice given his history with substance abuse that even landed him a stint in jail. However, Favreau was convinced that he was the right actor for the character, and he was ultimately right.
Much has been said about Downey’s performance as Iron Man. The public’s investment in his character for more than a decade and the emotional reaction to his death in Avengers: Endgame were enough proof that he did a great job in the role. However, what’s barely discussed was what he meant in the MCU behind-the-scenes. As its inaugural actor, Downey was instrumental in fostering the working environment over at Marvel Studios — at least when it came to filming. Those who boarded the universe subsequently naturally looked up to him since he’d been in the system first. Downey embraced this additional responsibility and carried it out with gusto. He played a part in convincing and easing Chris Evans’ fears of signing a multi-film contract as Captain America. Years later, he helped Tom Holland settle in with his role as Spider-Man and mentored the budding actor until he was fully comfortable with it. The British actor even revealed that even without direct guidance, seeing Downey’s professionalism set a precedent and for the rest of the cast. Apparently, the Iron Man actor was always punctual, knew all the names of and was respectful to the crew, and came in prepared with his lines.
In the bigger scheme of things, Downey’s castmates also talked about how he would find ways for the actors to bond during production. He famously hosted lunches — something that was first revealed to the public during Captain America: Civil War‘s press conference. Both Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson) and Daniel Brühl (Baron Helmut Zemo) talked about their respective experiences regarding the regular get-togethers. During the back-to-back production of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, it seemed to become a much more frequent thing. Downey and his co-stars posted various images and videos on social media as they share meals. Aside from the obvious fact that providing food made sure that everyone was fueled for the rest of their working day, it also created a sense of community among the cast. Those who may not have many scenes together were able to sit down and just get-to-known each other. This way, personal relationships were created and people were happier to tackle the rest of their job.
Downey more likely has a lot more behind-the-scenes contribution to the franchise than the aforementioned ones. However, these are enough to establish the fact that his work at the MCU went beyond playing Iron Man on the screen. He helped lay out the foundation for a fun working environment, something that will hopefully continue for years to come even with him no longer a part of Marvel Studios.
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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