No one can play Iron Man other than Robert Downey Jr. Period.
There are only a handful of actors that have made their onscreen characters untouchable. Robert Downey Jr is one such actor, who will always be known as the foundation on which Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is built. Though what’s surprising was how Downey Jr was clueless as to what MCU movies would have in store for him.
Today, he is no longer just an actor or a celebrity; he is a pop-culture phenomenon. The half the world knows him better as self-obsessed, over-the-top Tony Stark, but one cannot, not marvel at how brilliantly he brought the complex character of Iron Man to life.
However, all this didn’t come easy to RDJ, who literally resurrected his flagged acting career after five years of substance abuse, arrests, rehab and relapse. Iron Man was indeed a second chance for him and he has certainly made the most out of that and turned his life around.
Not many would know that the prevalent rumour back in the day was that none other than Tom Cruise would be Tony Stark, but Iron Man director Jon Favreau unremittingly campaigned for RDJ. The film’s producers were apparently dubious about casting an actor with the controversial past as the protagonist of the first Marvel film which could make or break the franchise's future.
But over the years, RDJ has only upped the game of the MCU movies with his confident and lively presence as Stark. The MCU might have witnessed the coming and going of several A-list actors but he undoubtedly remains the heart and soul of the popular film franchise.
And now with the current phase 3 of the MCU coming to an end with Avengers: Endgame, it is assumed that RDJ’s iconic character may not be on board on any new Marvel film in the future.
During his appearance at Ace Comic-Con last year, Chris Evans, who plays Captain America in the MCU, explained what RDJ meant to the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“He is such a wonderful guy and so talented and supportive. I have always felt supported by him. He really brings everybody in to the group and makes sure everyone feels welcome, especially on this last film. No matter what it feels like for me, I try to imagine what it feels like for him because he really did start this (MCU),” Evans said.
Evans went on to compliment his Avengers co-star by saying how he couldn’t imagine any other actor playing Tony Stark, echoing the sentiments of millions of fans around the world.
“He really is so irreplaceable. Nobody can ever be Iron Man. It’s not a role like a Superman or a Batman. No one can touch it. And I wonder what it feels to come to the end of the road and I think he must be going through whole cocktail of emotions. He really on this last film has gone so far out of his way to bring all of us together. I might sound so cheesy but he really makes it a family.”
It’s a journey quite literally for RDJ. From being an egocentric who cared about no one but himself to a sweetheart who became a father figure to Peter Parker, RDJ was one of the biggest character transformations in the MCU.
No wonder, when a reporter asked actor Sebastian Stan-- ‘who’s better at giving advice?’—he responded, “RDJ.” Guess what was the advice?
“To be RDJ."
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