Downey Jr. Demolishes Independent Films

Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most recognisable faces in the film industry: and he has every intention of keeping it that way. The Iron Man star didn’t hold back when it came to his opinion of low-budget, independent cinema.

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Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson at the London premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Photo Credit: James Gillham/Getty


In an interview with Entertainment Weekly’s Sirius radio program, Downey Jr.was asked about the prospect of returning to indie films between his bouts in blockbuster franchises. The larger-than-life actor scoffed at the notion before expanding with his trademark mix of charm and smarm:

“They’re exhausting and sometimes they suck and then you just go, ‘What was I thinking?’ But I’m interested in doing all different kinds of movies. Sometimes the little movies are the ones that wind up taking the most out of you because they’re like, ‘Hey, man, we’re just running a couple of days behind. Do you think you can stay through your birthday and then come back on the fourth of July. And, by the way, but, like, the crew – can you pay for the craft services? And, oh, by the way, man, when we go to Sundance, it’s like, can we just sit you in a chair and you can sell this for six days in a row so that we’ll make 180 bucks when it opens in one theater? God, this is so powerful what we’re doing.'”

Pithy diatribe aside, Downey Jr. has every right to remain in the spotlight. He continuously ranks amongst the top earners in Hollywood, pocketing an obscene 75 million dollars for reprising his role as Tony Stark in Iron Man 3. And while Marvel Studios are notoriously tight with the purse strings, the 50-year-old actor can effectively write his own paychecks when it comes to the superhero franchise: earning a reported $40 million to star opposite Chris Evans in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.

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Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Photo Credit: Marvel Studios


On his way back to the Hollywood spotlight, however, the bombastic and notoriously troubled actor worked on a number of acclaimed, small budget films: Good Night and Good Luck, A Scanner Darkly and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. They weren’t exactly shoestring: Good Night and Good Luck was directed by George Clooney, for instance, and George isn’t exactly known for slumming it; but neither were they the billion-dollar babies the once and future Tony Stark has been called upon to lead.

Despite his somewhat controversial remarks, no one can fault Robert Downey Jr. for wanting to play in the big leagues for as long as possible. But if he does one day decide to step his toe back into the world of independent cinema, having to pay for craft service is hardly going to break the bank. After all, he is Iron Man.

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Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer in the 2005 independent film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Photo Credit: Warner Bros