Robert Downey Jr. brought his Iron Man story to a close in Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame, and after playing the character of Tony Stark for the past 10 years anyone would seem a bit inseparable from the characters they play. For Downey though it's never been that way, as he has purposely tried to divide the person playing the role and the character so many fans know him for. In a new interview with THR Downey explained that early on it would've been easy for the two to become the same person.
"Initially, by creating and associating and synergizing with Tony Stark and the Marvel Universe … and being a good company man, but also being a little off-kilter, being creative and getting into all these other partnerships, it was a time when … what do they say? Owners start looking like their pets," Downey said.
That said, he made it a point not to let that happen, relying on his theatrical training and a process called aesthetic distance.
"I am not my work," Downey said. "I am not what I did with that studio. I am not that period of time that I spent playing this character," said Downey. "And it sucks, because the kid in all of us wants to be like, 'No. It's always going to be summer camp and we're all holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'."
Downey enjoyed his time playing the character and admits the huge paydays can provide security. "There's always a dependency on something that feels like a sure thing. It's the closest I will ever come to being a trust fund kid," Downey said.
Downey has several projects on the way, including a new Sherlock Holmes film and his reboot of Doctor Dolittle, but admits he hasn't yet really started to explore a true post-Marvel and Iron Man life just yet.
"I have not been forced to explore the new frontier of what is my creative and personal life after this," Downey said. "It's always good to get ahead of where you are about to be. If you put eyes on 'that's going to be a big turn down there, spring of '19,' I better start psychically getting on top of that. … It's always in the transitions between one phase and the next phase that people fall apart."
For now, you can still see Downey in the part of Iron Man, as Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now.