Robert Downey Jr. debuted in Iron Man back in 2008, paving the way for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and its many extraordinary successes. The role would end up making Downey one of the biggest actors in the world, reprising the character in nine more films, the most recent of which being Avengers: Endgame. Given that playing Tony Stark has been a defining part of the actor's life over the last 11 years, and with Endgame concluding his contractual obligations to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one would think his last day on set would be quite emotional. Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo, on the other hand, recently revealed it was a much more humble experience.
"Robert is one of the sweetest, warmest human beings in the world, but, also, I don't think he likes to overindulge emotional moments," Russo shared with ComicBook.com during An Evening With Joe Russo. "It's a hug and a handshake. And applause from the crew. And I think that's the limit of what he wants. He feels like he did his job and he's happy and he doesn't want to wallow in it any more than he has to. It was significant for him. 11 years of his life."
When looking back at the MCU, it seems like a given that the formula would prove to be successful, yet the early days of the franchise didn't inherently guarantee success. Having previously focused on more independent productions, and already having a long list of career accomplishments, casting Downey as the main character in a comic book movie may have seemed like a gamble.
The actor recently revealed that, despite various points in his career seeing him want to push his artistic abilities, embracing such a beloved character for audiences time and time again proved rewarding in unexpected ways.
“What has it meant to sit in this character for so long? I can make a couple of comparisons," Downey confessed in Avengers: Endgame - The Official Movie Special. "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."
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now.
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