It goes without saying that the MCU wouldn’t be what it is today with Iron Man. It also goes without saying that Iron Man wouldn’t be who he is without Robert Downey Jr. He effortlessly brings the character to life in a way that makes you idolize him. Not just for his larger than life persona and brains, but for the way he’s human – imperfectly human.
So fans are having a hard time with the fact that Downey Jr’s contract with the MCU is up in 2019 and we all know good and well that this may be the last we see of him as Iron Man. That said, his impact on the MCU will last a lifetime – and lifetimes beyond that.
Recently, Entertainment Weekly sat down with Robert Downey Jr. to talk about where Tony Stark’s head is at when the film starts and what he sees in terms of a future. He’s changed since Iron Man (and with good reason) but we’re all wondering what we can expect from Mr. Stark when he learns of their latest threat.
In terms of finding his way out of the ‘hero world’, Downey Jr. had this to say.
Well, let’s compare him to me. If I was going to not be playing Tony for the next 10 years, I wouldn’t be doing it with no plan of what I would do instead. I don’t think Tony is idle, I think he is wondering … Look, when he tried to make a suit of armor around the world, that didn’t pan out so well. Now I think his goals are smaller.
He was asked what he meant by ‘smaller’.
My favorite part of Iron Man 3 is Shane Black’s whole idea that he’s a tinkerer. So the nice thing is that there just happened to be 40 other suits he’d been playing with that all came into Act 3.
It was also mentioned that Stark’s personal life sort of took a back seat in the most recent films.
It was hard to thread Pepper through every story that Tony was in, so we took opportunities to say, “We’re taking a break, and it’s my fault.” [Laughs] Now, he and Pepper have kind of locked it up. We were talking about them living in some eco-lodge together, but then we thought, “Eh, any time they move somewhere villains just blow it up, so no one’s gonna believe that it’ll stay long.”
In terms of Pepper, there is a big focus on her in Infinity War because of how much she means to Tony.
Pepper remains the heart of the [Iron Man] story. I think we wanted to get back to that reality. Not just for them, but let’s really see how that can add to the something-worth-fighting-for of it all.
As far as Stark, he has a team in Infinity War (as do all of the heroes) and he was pretty excited about his.
I love how Cumberbatch just comes in and kind of draws flaming circles anywhere and can basically step into your movie. That’s fun. And we wanted to keep a little bit of the Science Bros thing alive, even though Ruffalo has been on such an amazing Banner/Hulk journey himself. I really, really, really enjoyed getting to know and work with and play around with Benedict as Strange. Benedict Wong also, by the way is fantastic.
He went on to answer one of the biggest questions Marvel fans have right now. How real is this threat coming with Thanos? His answer is one we knew we’d be getting, but one that we still don’t like.
Believe me, I’m tired of every movie, you know, “It’s the end! It’s Armageddon! It’s the Be All, End All, Forever!” And then it’s … not. This one actually is. [Laughs] They’re not kidding. This is a heads-will-roll scenario.
He also spoke about how much of himself is Iron Man and his response was perfect. He’s a guy with a past that doesn’t regret what it was because he overcame it. There are pieces of him in the character but he ISN’T Tony.
I wonder. [Pause.] I ain’t him, I’ll tell you that flat out. There’s always a bit of a burn off period when they run out of call sheets for me. I’m just a f—ing actor. I’m just a guy who does have a very interesting past, who does not regret it, who wished to shut the door on it. I think that that translates.
He also mentioned that ‘hanging his hat’ thing again in terms of continuing to play Iron Man for the next 20 years.
I’m definitely a hang up your jersey before they boo you off the court type guy, just because I still have an appropriate fear of embarrassment.
In terms of what’s next, he’s still got a lot on his plate but he did say to call him and tell him to slow down if he’s not taking a break soon. We recommend a vacation in good ol’ Nashville, Tennessee.
Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27th and you can see more of his interview with EW here.
‘…but I knew him’