In a recent interview with Variety, two prominent figures in Hollywood and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo revealed a surprising connection that extends beyond their on-screen collaborations.
The actors, who are best known for portraying Iron Man and the Hulk, respectively, shared a fascinating bond rooted in their family histories and a common link to the iconic Chrysler Building.
Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo Discover Unexpected Family Ties
Robert Downey Jr. opened up about his deep fascination with the Cold War era, expressing that he has been immersed in its culture for the last five to seven years. This interest has driven him to explore various historical figures from that time, including Lewis Strauss. Downey’s knowledge of Strauss, a key player in the Cold War, stems from extensive research into the characters and events surrounding that period. He said:
“The crazy thing for me is I’ve been obsessed for the last five to seven years, probably longer, with the culture of the Cold War, because I felt it was so back upon us. I actually knew a fair amount about Lewis Strauss, because I had done a lot of deep dives into all the characters around this time.”
He then credited his late grandfather, Captain Robert Elias, for sparking his interest despite never meeting him.
Elias, a war veteran who fought in Sicily and North Africa, later became a successful glass manufacturer. His claim to fame, according to Downey Jr., was his family’s contribution to the glass used in the Chrysler Building.
“I have to credit my deceased grandfather, Captain Robert Elias, who I never met. He was deployed in Sicily in North Africa. But then he became a glass manufacturer, and his big claim to fame was that his family had done the glass for the Chrysler Building,” Downey Jr. said.
This revelation led Mark Ruffalo to share an equally astonishing coincidence – his family were the construction painters who brought the building to life! Ruffalo said:
“My family painted the Chrysler Building! They were construction painters.”
Downey Jr. exclaimed, “That’s how close both him and Ruffalo are,” highlighting the unexpected coincidence that connected their families through their contributions to the same historical landmark.
Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo Hint at MCU Fatigue
Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo, iconic figures in the MCU as Iron Man and Hulk, respectively, recently opened up about their exhaustion playing these beloved characters for over a decade. During a segment of Variety’s Actors on Actors series, the two actors discussed their experiences and the toll it took on them.
Ruffalo, known for his versatility, admitted to feeling fear and fatigue from being associated with a single brand for such a long time. He expressed his initial hesitation towards the role and his wife’s encouragement despite his doubts. He also touched upon the age-related anxieties that crept in, questioning his abilities and fearing a potential decline in his career.
“It did scare the sh*t out of me, and I did say well, you know, this isn’t the kind of guy I play. You know, I had all that, I’m embarrassed to say and Sunny my wife, Sunrise was like ‘You have to do this’ and everyone was like you have to do it just like you have to do it. But you really have to get outside of your comfort zone, and you also start to doubt yourself like were saying, you know, you hit 55 and you’re kind of like, maybe it’s as good as I’ll get, maybe I’m on the downward slide of this thing.”
The actor added, “And I also at that time was like really kind of tired of my brand or you know, whatever people you put on yourself.”
Downey Jr. echoed Ruffalo’s sentiments:
“You know, and isn’t it funny when our wives with flat out say just don’t worry everyone else is tired of it too, that’s why, you need to do this.”
Despite the challenges and moments of exhaustion, both actors expressed their love for the MCU and the impact it had on their careers. The duo acknowledged that their love for the characters and the interconnected MCU universe ultimately kept them from walking away, solidifying their roles as integral members of the Marvel family.