Movies and television have no shortage of heroes. The battle between good and evil always has to have a hero and a villain in order to work, be it superheroes or regular people doing super heroic things. And at the 2019 MTV Movie and TV Awards, one actor who played a hero who graced the big and small screens in the last year is going home with the "golden popcorn" award for their efforts -- Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr.
Downey has played Tony Stark/Iron Man since the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Iron Man, back in 2008 with his character's journey in many ways serving as the backbone of the universe. His was a story arc that took the character through from his beginnings as a self-centered billionaire to a man who wasn't just a hero because of the suit he put on, but for his actions outside of Iron Man -- as well as his sacrifice to save the entire universe from Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. That journey, particularly in Endgame, is one that Endgame co-writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely addressed in recent interviews.
"We had the opportunity to give him the perfect retirement life, within the movie," Avengers: Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus said/
"He got that already," Avengers: Endgame co-writer Stephen 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."
Downey himself spoke about his tenure as Iron Man in another interview.
"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."
Downey went up against John David Washington as Ron Stallworth from BlacKkKlansman, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in Captain Marvel and even Zachary Levi as Shazam in Shazam!
Still, Downey called his MTV award tonight "unexpected", but noted the honor and privilege of having been able to be Tony Stark and also invoked the now-iconic "love you 3000" line from Avengers: Endgame – except this time, Downey had a very specific number for how much he loves the MTV fans.
"Kind of unexpected, to be honest with you," Downey said. "That said, it has been an absolute joy, honor, privilege, etc. to portray Tony Stark all these years so I want to say thank you Marvel, thank you Disney, thank you MTV and mostly thank y'all. Maybe it's true that you love me 3000, but I just checked, this is, what are the new numbers? I love you 3247, so that's a fact, Jack."
Were you surprised Downey won the Best Hero Award? Let us know in the comments below.