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“90% of my black friends were like, ‘Dude, that was great’”: Robert Downey Jr. Doesn’t Regret Wearing Blackface in Tropic Thunder Despite Mom Saying It’s a ‘Terrible Idea’

Robert Downey Jr. Doesn't Regret Wearing Blackface in Tropic Thunder

Becoming one of the most popular actors of the past decade, Robert Downey Jr. remains instrumental in the development of the superhero genre. He starred as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, across multiple films, and became the linchpin of the franchise.

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Related: “Accept the things you can not change”: Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. Is Not Bothered About Losing His Eye Sight, Makes No Major Attempt to Fix it Despite $300 Million Net Worth

His casting was so spot-on that even the creator of many Marvel characters, Stan Lee noted him to be born for the role and no actor could pull off what the Iron Man actor did. Robert Downey Jr. ended his stint as one of the earth’s mightiest defenders in Avengers: Endgame.

Robert Downey Jr.’s role out of Marvel

Since him snapping Thanos out of existence, Robert Downey Jr. has enjoyed a leisurely time in his acting career. Similar to his Marvel co-star Chris Evans, he’s enjoying the experience of signing onto the film he wishes to be a part of.

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. last starred as Sherlock Holmes in 2011.

Starring in Christopher Nolan’s ambitious film Oppenheimer, he plays Lewis Strauss. The film is based on the scientist who ran the Manhattan Project and has an ensemble cast that includes Florence Pugh, Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, and Emily Blunt.

Also read: ‘He took one look at me and wanted to kill me’: Robert Downey Jr. Saw Award Winning Actor Hugh Grant as His Mortal Enemy

He is also set to return to the Sherlock Holmes franchise along with Jude Law as Dr. John Watson. With the film delayed over many years due to Robert Downey Jr.’s commitment to the Marvel films, it’s well overdue we finally got the installment to this well-loved franchise.

Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder

The 2000s was one the best decades for comedy films, with the likes of Shaun of the Dead, Bruce Almighty, and Superbad gracing the screen. Another film that has gained a stronger following over the years is Tropic Thunder, written and directed by Ben Stiller.

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. as Kirk Lazarus.

Read more: After Starring as a Black Man in ‘Tropic Thunder’, Robert Downey Jr. Was Supposed to Play the Role of a Mexican Man in This Now Shelved Jamie Foxx Comedy

It had a large cast which included Jack Black, Tom Cruise, and Bill Hader. Robert Downey Jr. was also a part of the ensemble cast where he played Australian actor Kirk Lazarus and stayed in character even while cameras were not rolling.

Did he try Blackface?

Controversially, he played an actor in the film who used blackface to play a black character Sergeant Lincoln Osiris. Considering the sensitivity around blackface, it was a risky decision for the actor to take as his career was still being revived.

Robert Downey Jr.
Tropic Thunder also featured Ben Stiller and Jack Black in the lead.

While speaking on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Robert Downey Jr. commented on the controversy surrounding the film and Blackface, saying:

“[Ben] knew exactly what the vision for this was, he executed it, it was impossible to not have it be an offensive nightmare of a movie… And 90 per cent of my black friends were like, ‘Dude, that was great.’ I can’t disagree with [the other 10 per cent], but I know where my heart lies.”

Check out: “I have four words for Marvel – F—k you, call Robert”: Robert Downey Jr Nearly Quit $50M Iron Man Role For Massive Pay Disparity, Stood Up for Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson

He further noted how it seemed like a terrible idea when he first agreed to the film, but then eventually realized that it was a commentary on the nature of self-involved hypocrisy of artists and what they think they’re entitled to do.

Source: IndieWire

Written by Nikhil Makwana

Nikhil Makwana is a writer for FandomWire, with interests in DC comics, anime, indie films, independent films, and Nicolas Cage. He’s pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in BBA,LLB from IFIM Law School. When he’s not writing, he reads books such as the classic Dune series and existential essays from Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre.