After playing the iconic role of Tony Stark/Iron Man for 11 years, Robert Downey Jr. discusses the process of leaving and moving on from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The 54 year-old actor has definitely got more plans for the future, with him reprising his role in Sherlock Holmes 3.

Fans are really curious what it feels like for RDJ to separate himself from Tony Stark which he played since 2008. More than a decade ago, it was a huge risk for Marvel to launch the Iron Man movie. No wonder director Jon Favreau had to fight his way to get RDJ cast for the role. Obviously, they made the right decision—casting RDJ and building the MCU was all it needed to kick off the universe. Ten years later, he was positioned in the most heart-wrenching way to send off his titular character.

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RDJ sat down with The Off Camera Show and shared his thoughts about his departure from the MCU and the aftermath of it. Downey says his character as the poster boy for the MCU franchise in both creative satisfaction and hard work. He also added that it is the “closest I will ever come to being the trust fund kid,” with reference to the idea of character reliance.

It is no doubt that he became synonymous with Tony Stark/Iron Man but the actor agreed that he is not his work and he’s more than just one character. He believes no movie or role in his entire career should define him.

The actor did not specifically mention any upcoming projects that are still under the wraps but it was clear that he wants to explore more opportunities different and far from his past works. There are few movies which he is set to appear in, namely: Dr. John Dolittle in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, which is currently in post-production; and Sherlock Holmes 3, another of his most popular movies that is set to film in the upcoming days.

He is also working alongside his wife, Susan, at their own production company, Team Downey, with the HBO series Perry Mason starring The American’s Matthew Rhys. Apart from movie business, he is also working on the new program, The Footprint Coalition, which basically aims to clean the planet using advanced nanotechnology. Sounds like something Tony Stark would do, right?

During the press junkets for both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, RDJ didn’t attend much of it. He did show up at the movie’s official press conferences though but rarely talked about the movie. Looking back, it was definitely for the sake of not spoiling anything about the fate of his character. Since Marvel has been tirelessly working to keep things under a tight seal, RDJ might find it difficult to talk about his role without giving away any hints.

It’s a difficult transition in RDJ’s career to leave something he has worked on for more than a decade and it’s unlikely that fans would just move on and stop calling him Tony Stark/Iron Man for the next few years. Downey admitted that his stint in the MCU kind of got in the way of taking side projects here and there, so we can’t blame him if he wants to move on. He’s a legendary actor and his talent is unparalleled, having played a multitude of varying characters. Regardless, it would not be easy to shake off the Tony Stark persona, especially in the eyes of his fans.  For us, he will always be the genius billionaire Tony Stark we knew and loved.