Late last year, the entertainment world mourned the loss of one of its most visionary creators, Stan Lee. Along with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Lee created some of the most beloved characters in the history of Marvel Comics, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, Hulk, Black Panther, and the Fantastic Four. Lee eventually began appearing on the big screen as a clever cameo in all of the various Marvel films, where he met and befriended many of the actors who brought his iconic characters to life. One such actor was Robert Downey Jr., who has since become synonymous with Iron Man, aka Tony Stark.
After playing Tony Stark for more than a decade, Downey is instantly recognized around the world as his on-screen character. In fact, one of the last times Downey saw Stan Lee, the comic creator started mistaking him for Tony Stark.
During a recent episode of The Howard Stern Show, Downey was asked about the last memories he had with Lee. He told the story of the scene they filmed together for Captain America: Civil War, in which Lee plays a delivery man at the very end of the movie.
"One of the last times I saw him we were shooting Civil War, and his cameo that day, was he's I think a UPS delivery man," Downey said. "And he has a great line, he goes 'I have a package for Tony Stank.'"
"That was one of the last times I saw him and the crazy thing was, he said that on the first take and he nailed it," he continued. "And they go, 'Alright resetting, let's do it again.' And after that he started saying, 'I have a package for Robert...' And I started [thinking] oh my God, it's wild that even the guy who created the character thinks of me in a moment where he's talking about the character. And I think this is so meta, Stan Lee is forgetting who I am in this moment."
That's got to be a pretty great accolade for Downey, who has certainly taken pride in bringing Tony Stark to life all these years.
You can watch the clip of Downey's story in the video at the top of the page.