Tropic Thunder: Robert Downey Jr.’s Most Controversial Movie Cast Matthew McConaughey After Original Actor Attempted to Kill Himself

Matthew McConaughey replaced original actor post-suicide attempt in Tropic Thunder, Robert Downey Jr.'s controversial movie.

Tropic Thunder: Robert Downey Jr.’s Most Controversial Movie Cast Matthew McConaughey After Original Actor Attempted to Kill Himself

SUMMARY

  • Tropic Thunder garnered acclaim for its story and cast but faced controversy for portraying mental disability, using slurs, and employing brownface makeup.
  • Owen Wilson was first considered for the role, but after Wilson's suicide attempt in 2007, he withdrew from the part.
  • When Wilson was no longer in to play the character, he was replaced by Matthew McConaughey.
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Making a war film might be tricky, but including comedy in it is even more of a tough nut to crack. But Robert Downey Jr. starrer 2008 film lived up to the expectations. And there’s no doubt why Tropic Thunder is one of the smartest comedies.

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Tropic Thunder (2008)
Tropic Thunder (2008)

It received positive reviews because of its story and cast performances. But it also became a matter of controversy for the depiction of mentally disabled people, derogatory slurs, and the use of brownface makeup. But there’s a role in the film that went to McConaughey because the original actor tried to attempt suicide.

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Also read: “I’m not gonna look like that”: Tom Cruise Refused to Gain Weight for $135M Movie to Save Image Despite His Ridiculous Appearance in Robert Downey Jr.’s Tropic Thunder

Matthew McConaughey Joins Tropic Thunder After Original Actor Tried to Attempt Suicide

Matthew McConaughey in Tropic Thunder
Matthew McConaughey in Tropic Thunder

When the actors were considering playing the roles in Tropic Thunder, Tom Cruise was the one initially set to cameo as Stiller’s character’s agent, Rick Peck.

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Later, Cruise and Ben Stiller worked together to create the new character Les Grossman, an overarching antagonist of the film played by Cruise himself. So, somebody still had to play Rick Peck.

So, Stiller’s frequent co-star Owen Wilson (who has appeared with him in more than 12 films) was given a thought to playing the character. But, when the Loki star attempted suıcide in 2007, he dropped out of the role.

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Sources present on the internet gave various reasons why he tried to attempt suicide. The actor himself revealed that he used to think about death a lot after he turned 11.

So, when Wilson was no longer in for the role Matthew McConaughey replaced him. There’s another fact about the film. The lead actor, RDJ’s character, was a blend of many actors.

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Also read: Ben Stiller Refuses To Apologize if Robert Downey Jr’s Blackface in ‘Tropic Thunder’ Hurt Your Feelings: “No apologies. It’s always been a controversial movie”

Robert Downey Jr. Shifts Kirk Lazarus from Irish to Australian

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

We all know Robert Downey Jr. played Kirk Lazarus: Lincoln Osiris, An Australian method actor and five-time Academy Award winner. But his character was based on the combination of Russell Crowe, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Colin Farrell.

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As when the character of Kirk Lazarus was written, he was earlier supposed to be Irish. And the method actor Daniel Day-Lewis was being spoofed for it.

But Downey Jr. asked him to be Australian instead. His prior experience with the accent likely contributed to his choice. And he felt more comfortable doing comedy with an Aussie accent.

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Also read: “That’s what people were p***ed off about”: Robert Downey Jr. Thanked Ben Stiller for Saving Him from Getting Cancelled After Blackface Controversy in $195M Tropic Thunder

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Written by Shreya Jha

Shreya is an Entertainment News Writer at Fandomwire. She has over a year of experience in journalistic writing with a deep knowledge of entertainment world. After completing her bachelor's program in Journalism and Mass Communication, Shreya is now pursuing her master's degree in the same. Apart from being an avid reader, she's a huge Swiftie and K-culture buff. So yeah, when she's not writing, she will be caught listening to Tay or watching "Business Proposal" for the 100th time.