Every year at the D23 Expo, Disney introduces the latest members of their in-house Hall of Fame, Disney Legends. And this year, over a decade after he helped launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man, they finally accepted superstar Robert Downey Jr. into the fold.
After being inducted into the prestigious role as a Disney Legend, Downey used his acceptance speech to come clean about his troubled past, revealing an entertaining story about his first trip to Disneyland. While other presenters revealed touching stories about their cherished members, the Avengers: Endgame actor was decidedly on brand with his anecdote.
“Here’s a bit of trivia for you, the very first time I went to Disneyland I was transported to another place…within moments of being arrested,” Downey said during his speech. “I was brought to a surprisingly friendly processing center. Given a stern warning and returned, if memory servers, to one very disappointed group chaperone. I would like to make amends for whoever had to contain me for smoking pot in the gondola without a license."
He added, “I’m sorry, I don’t want to further confuse the issue by insinuating that pot smoking licenses for the gondola are in any way attainable, or for any of the other park attractions… Maybe the Imagineers but that’s their own business. That’s a load off.”
Well, it certainly got a response from the crowd of Disney lovers in attendance. Downey has helped create the franchise, pushing it to become a monolith in Hollywood while reviving his own career.
"We had the opportunity to give him the perfect retirement life, within the movie," Markus said in a recent interview with the New York Times.
"He got that already," McFeely added.
"That’s the life he’s been striving for, Markus said. "Are he and Pepper going to get together? Yes. They got married, they had a kid, it was great. It’s a good death. It doesn’t feel like a tragedy. It feels like a heroic, finished life."
“What has it meant to sit in this character for so long? I can make a couple of comparisons," Downey said of his Iron Man tenure in a recent interview. "Not to compare myself to Charlie Chaplin, but people wanted to see him play the tramp. He did Monsieur Verdoux, he did Limelight– he had successful forays into not just being his most beloved character. But ultimately, in his autumn years he surrendered to the will of the people and re-found his joy and his acceptance in the fact that he’d been fortunate enough to have channeled and created that character to begin with."