Robert Downey Jr.’s life and legacy have been defined and established by his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but Iron Man is not the beginning and end of the Endgame actor’s identity. His core values and principles reside scattered throughout Hollywood in bits and pieces all over, in satire, a biopic, romance, and a documentary.
What the actor learned in his time as the industry’s young apprentice who grew up in the fast lane to fame and addiction and all that it entails, provided the basis for his journey afterward. And this after-phase which began with his rehabilitation in 2000 took him to greater heights than he could have ever predicted or expected. But all of it was not without some lessons scattered haphazardly throughout the course of his euphoric climb and staggering fall.
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Robert Downey Jr. Learns a Lesson From Warren Beatty
While speaking on The Joe Rogan Experience, Robert Downey Jr. talks about a little life lesson he nicked from the esteemed actor, writer, producer, and director, Warren Beatty, while on the sets of The Pick-up Artist (1987):
“I was doing a movie called The Pick-up Artist with Molly Ringwald and [Warren Beatty] was kind of the de-facto producer of it, uncredited, taught me a lot about acting, and what it was, and he said, ‘What’s your action in this scene?’ and I’m like, ‘Oh no he’s asking me something… Uh, my action? I’m picking up girls.’ And he [shakes his head and] goes, ‘What’s your action in this scene?’ And I go, ‘I’m driving a car.’ And you know that feeling when someone asks you a question and you get caught flat-footed? And he goes, ‘No, your action is you’re trying to go to work. But you’re getting distracted by this addiction you have to try and get laid. So your action is you’re trying to get to work.’
And I was like, ‘Oh yeah, he’s right.’ And he said, ‘Always know what your action is because then when you come in in the morning and you’re confident or when you’re coming in in the morning and can’t hit your a** with both hands, you know what to do. So to me, one of the greatest lessons I learned from him was just boil down what it is that you’re doing, whether there’s a camera around or just what am I doing today.”
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Warren Beatty’s career is a spectacle to navigate through. With a career that spans cinema and politics over the course of 60+ years, the multi-talented auteur and pioneer is a living embodiment of Hollywood’s golden era. Actively contributing to the progress of the industry from the 50s to the 90s, Beatty remains one of the final artists of a generation that witnessed as well as participated in the evolution of cinema.
Robert Downey Jr.’s Life and Legacy: A Parallel to Iron Man
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Robert Downey Jr.’s life is not much farther than a stone’s throw away from the Marvel legacy he is credited with founding. The man born to play, own and emulate Tony Stark aka Iron Man became an advocate himself for all the things he had and lost, and all the good he did in the aftermath with the little that was given to him. As such, the life that the actor now leads is one that is universally loved, admired, and worthy of being looked up to by billions.
The lesson that he learned about his going to work and getting distracted along the way may have not worked at the time, but exactly 2 decades later, in 2007, it was Jon Favreau and Kevin Feige knocking on his front door with a script that would go on to change the course of cinematic history.
Source: The Joe Rogan Experience