“This is a terrible idea”: Robert Downey Jr. Addressed Working With Tom Cruise in $195M Film Sequel After Initially Having Doubts for Oscar Nominated Role

"This is a terrible idea": Robert Downey Jr. Addressed Working With Tom Cruise in $195M Film Sequel After Initially Having Doubts for Oscar Nominated Role
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There have been many movies that have drawn criticism or been controversial over the years. The content is always contentious, and famous actors typically do not make a name for themselves in these films. One contemporary instance of blackface can be found in Tropic Thunder, an action comedy film, starring, Robert Downey Jr. This 2008 Ben Stiller flick was about a group of fictional Hollywood stars who play real soldiers in a war movie. 

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However, Tropic Thunder appeared to have confused modern viewers. For his portrayal of the black character, Downey Jr., who played a controversial Australian method actor, underwent ‘pigmentation alteration’ to temporarily darken his skin.

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr.

Additionally, Tom Cruise, Bill Hader, Matthew McConaughey, Nick Nolte, and Danny McBride make up the ensemble cast.

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Although many critics had issues with the film in many ways, it should be noted that Downey Jr. was nominated for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.  

Read More: “Usually, there’s 38 phone calls”: Robert Downey Jr. Was Stunned With Christopher Nolan at His Doorstep After His $251M Box-Office Disaster

Robert Downey Jr. Talked About Accepting Tropic Thunder Despite Controversy

This can’t be denied that Robert Downey Jr.‘s career took off well after he played Iron Man. But if you are looking for a contentious comedy with an acclaimed actor, Tropic Thunder is probably where you will find it.

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This 2008 film was where a pre-Iron Man, Downey Jr. made history by using blackface to become someone, who the actor described, as a “dude playing the dude disguised as another dude.”

In response to the negative reviews the movie received, the actor appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience in 2020 to discuss why he had no regrets about playing the part (Kirk Lazarus). 

“When Ben called and said, ‘Hey, I’m doing this thing,’ — and, you know, I think Sean Penn may have passed on it or something like that, possibly wisely — and I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that, and I’ll do that after ‘Iron Man’. And then I started thinking, ‘This is a terrible idea.’”

Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder

The 58-year-old actor continued, saying:

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“I thought, ‘Hold on, dude. Get real here. Where is your heart?’ And my heart is… I get to be black for a summer, you now, in my mind, so there’s something in it for me. The other thing is that I get to hold up to nature the insane self-involved hypocrisy of artists and what they think they’re allowed to do on occasion. Just my opinion.”

Read More: Robert Downey Jr.’s Ultimate Iron Man Sacrifice Just Became More Heartbreaking After Startling Secret Invasion Avenger Identity

‘Dude, That Was Great’

The 2008 film also starring Ben Stiller was nothing less than a phenomenal blockbuster with a storyline that made both new viewers and die-hard fans laugh silly. However, as many noted ever since the film’s release, it was also not without controversy.

Robert Downey Jr. argued that he accepted the role in order to expose the inherent ego of Hollywood actors. To quote him:

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“I get to hold up to nature the insane self-involved hypocrisy of artists and what they think they’re allowed to do on occasion, just my opinion.

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr.

Even though the Avengers: Endgame actor claimed otherwise, the result was one of the most contentious performances in modern cinema.

“It was impossible to not have it be an offensive nightmare of a movie… 90% of my black friends were like ‘dude, that was great’.”

When Joe Rogan questioned him about the opinions of the other 10% of his black friends, he responded:

“I can’t disagree with them, but I know where my heart was… I think that it’s never an excuse to do something that’s out of place and out of its time, but to me, it blasted the cap on [the issue]. I think having a moral psychology is job one. Sometimes, you just gotta go, ‘Yeah, I effed up.’ In my defence, Tropic Thunder is about how wrong [blackface] is, so I take exception.”

Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder
Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder

Well, the goal was to expose Hollywood actors who used to overact in certain roles, and a satirical character like Kirk Lazarus, as the Sherlock Holmes actor noted, was one way to do that!

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Tropic Thunder is available for streaming on Pluto TV.

Read More: “I was bulletproof”: Robert Downey Jr. Thought $300m MCU Career Made Him Invincible Until His Next Movie Bombed Spectacularly

Source- Joe Rogan Experience

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Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Articles Published: 1520

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1500 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.