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Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr.

Birthday: 4 April 1965, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Birth Name: Robert John Downey Jr
Height: 174 cm

Robert Downey Jr. has evolved into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. With an amazing list of credits to his name, he has managed to stay new and fresh even after over four decades in the ...Show more

Robert Downey Jr.
My intent is to dominate the playing field for as long as I can, with my own challenges, with myself Show more My intent is to dominate the playing field for as long as I can, with my own challenges, with myself. Hide
It's all about not getting your own way and that's what we try to instill in each other in ourselves Show more It's all about not getting your own way and that's what we try to instill in each other in ourselves with how do you become less encumber so you be in service to this fantastic medium that we get a chance in doing there's people throughout time who have been notorious and I get to be one of them to say it got in the way would be to say what I was "expressing" didn't have the validity for the suffering I chose to put myself through if it's all for nothing then it's a tragedy then if you put it down and move on its a way to demonstrate that when something occurs there's really nothing that anybody can do but survive as long as they survive Hide
Tofu is the root of all evil, and there's only one thing that can change a man's mind, and that's a Show more Tofu is the root of all evil, and there's only one thing that can change a man's mind, and that's a modified Uzi with an extra-long clip. Hide
[on Chaplin (1992)] When I accepted the part, they didn't tell me that I also had to do the acrobati Show more [on Chaplin (1992)] When I accepted the part, they didn't tell me that I also had to do the acrobatic stuff of Charlie. That has cost me a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Though I now can say, 'I did all my stunts myself.' Working on Chaplin was really intensive and cost me years of my life, but if I could do it all over again, no doubt I would do it the same way. Hide
[on producer Joel Silver] Joel just kept telling me. We've got to get your gun in your hand. Joel is Show more [on producer Joel Silver] Joel just kept telling me. We've got to get your gun in your hand. Joel is one of the few relationships I care to have with a producer. Look he's vast and voracious, and he definitely has the ability to break into a scream about a point he would like to make. But he can also be incredibly warm and generous. Hide
[on the Oscars ceremony] It is amazing to see how people are literally hyperventilating when they ge Show more [on the Oscars ceremony] It is amazing to see how people are literally hyperventilating when they get up there, because they have such an attachment to this outcome. Hide
[on Iron Man 2 (2010)] I've never been in a sequel and it's very daunting because I feel the expecta Show more [on Iron Man 2 (2010)] I've never been in a sequel and it's very daunting because I feel the expectation of the millions of people who watched it and enjoyed it and told me that it was a little different than your usual genre picture and that they expected us to not screw it up. So I actually have taken Iron Man 2 (2010) probably more seriously than any movie I've ever done, which is appropriately ridiculous for Hollywood. Hide
I've always felt like such an outsider in this industry. Because I'm so insane, I guess. I've always felt like such an outsider in this industry. Because I'm so insane, I guess.
I had four weeks' work in Baby It's You (1983), and I told all my friends I was now, officially, a m Show more I had four weeks' work in Baby It's You (1983), and I told all my friends I was now, officially, a major talent and film star. And then they cut my scenes out. You don't even see me except in one scene - you see me in the background until this self-indulgent actress leans forward to try and get more camera time. They cut all my scenes out and my friends go, "Hey, Robert - maybe it's you!" Now I don't tell people that I'm in a film until I see it on videocassette. Hide
The great thing about Saturday Night Live (1975) was being at 30 Rockefeller Center. And having Belu Show more The great thing about Saturday Night Live (1975) was being at 30 Rockefeller Center. And having Belushi and Aykroyd's old office. And me and Michael [Anthony Michael Hall] saying, "We want bunk beds. With NFL Sheets. And we want them now." And Michael was like "Man, it's gonna be great, we're gonna be buddies, we're gonna do a show together, we're gonna ..." Then, "I'm gonna do Out of Bounds (1986)" and he left. As for me, I was doing Back to School (1986) and Saturday Night Live at the same time. So I'd fly back to Los Angeles for a couple of days during the week to shoot the movie and then fly back and, "Live from New York, it's a tired young man!" Hide
I know very little about acting. I'm just an incredibly gifted faker. I know very little about acting. I'm just an incredibly gifted faker.
[on why some of his political opinions now lean more conservative then they used to] I have a really Show more [on why some of his political opinions now lean more conservative then they used to] I have a really interesting political point of view, and it's not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here, but you can't go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal. You can't. I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my proclivities and politics every since. ["The New York Times", 2008] Hide
It's a blanket statement to say, "That guy's really sharp and amicable and nice," because there's a Show more It's a blanket statement to say, "That guy's really sharp and amicable and nice," because there's a little bit of asshole in every nice guy, and there's a little bit of genius in every moron. Hide
[2010, on his past problems] Sometimes it's necessary to compartmentalize the different stages of yo Show more [2010, on his past problems] Sometimes it's necessary to compartmentalize the different stages of your evolution, both personally and objectively, for the people you have to love and tolerate. And one of those people, for me, is me. I have a very strong sense of that messed-up kid, that devoted theater actor, that ne'er-do-well 20-something nihilistic androgyne and that late-20s married guy with a little kid, lost, lost in narcotics-all as aspects of things I don't regret and am happy to keep a door open on. More than anything I have this sense that I'm a veteran of a war that is difficult to discuss with people who haven't been there. I feel for the kind of zeitgeist diagnoses that are being applied to certain of my peers lately, and I think it's unconscionable. Hide
It's hard for me to watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) and not get nostalgic about it. It's not perfec Show more It's hard for me to watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) and not get nostalgic about it. It's not perfect but in some ways, I think it's the best thing I've ever done. I don't know why. Hide
What I usually hate about these movies when suddenly the guy that you were digging turns into Dudley Show more What I usually hate about these movies when suddenly the guy that you were digging turns into Dudley Do-Right, and then you're supposed to buy into all his "Let's go do some good! That Eliot Ness-in-a-cape-type thing. What was really important to me was to not have him change so much that he's unrecognizable. When someone used to be a schmuck and they're not anymore, hopefully they still have a sense of humor. [on superhero movies] Hide
I have a sense of destiny that you are led to the things you are supposed to do. I have a sense of destiny that you are led to the things you are supposed to do.
It was so nice to go into this fake courtroom [on Ally McBeal (1997)]. I immediately went up into th Show more It was so nice to go into this fake courtroom [on Ally McBeal (1997)]. I immediately went up into the judge's chair. Nice view. A preferable perspective. Hide
[2010] I find myself fascinated with shows like Bad Girls (1999) and Jerseylicious (2010), and also Show more [2010] I find myself fascinated with shows like Bad Girls (1999) and Jerseylicious (2010), and also Inside American Jail (2007) and Lockup (2005). The best one's in the U.K.; I watch it when I'm over there doing Sherlock. It's called Banged Up Abroad (2007), which means "locked up". "Locked Up Abroad" is always fun. Hide
[on his role as an Australian actor playing a black man in Tropic Thunder (2008)] I thought it was a Show more [on his role as an Australian actor playing a black man in Tropic Thunder (2008)] I thought it was a completely incendiary idea and I blame it all on Ben Stiller and DreamWorks. Hide
[on his childhood] I didn't want to talk about what my dad did because it wasn't like he was directi Show more [on his childhood] I didn't want to talk about what my dad did because it wasn't like he was directing All in the Family (1971) or anything. He was doing these crazy films. Mom would pick me up at school wearing this big quilted cape. I felt like I was in a J.D. Salinger story. Dad's Jewish and Irish, Mom's German and Scotch. I couldn't say I was anything. My last name isn't even Downey. My dad changed his name when he wanted to get into the Army and was underage. My real name is Robert Elias. I feel like I'm still looking for a home in some way. Hide
[2010] Discipline for me is about respect. It's not even about self-respect; it's about respect for Show more [2010] Discipline for me is about respect. It's not even about self-respect; it's about respect for life and all it offers. And not indulging. I have happily reconsidered my position on a bunch of things I didn't want on my "no" list despite all evidence that I couldn't handle them. At the end of the day, anything I think I'm sacrificing I'm just giving up because it makes me feel better. Hide
[his acceptance speech for the American Cinematheque Award] I asked Mel (Gibson) to present this awa Show more [his acceptance speech for the American Cinematheque Award] I asked Mel (Gibson) to present this award for me for a reason. When I couldn’t get sober, he told me not to give up hope and encouraged me to find my faith. It didn’t have to be his or anyone else’s as long as it was rooted in forgiveness. And I couldn’t get hired, so he cast me in the lead of a movie that was actually developed for him. He kept a roof over my head and food on the table and most importantly he said if I accepted responsibility for my wrongdoing and embraced that part of my soul that was ugly – hugging the cactus he calls it – he said that if I hugged the cactus long enough, I’d become a man. I did and it worked. All he asked in return was that someday I help the next guy in some small way. It’s reasonable to assume at the time he didn’t imagine the next guy would be him or that someday was tonight. So anyway on this special occasion and in light of the recent holidays including Columbus Day, I would ask that you join me, unless you are completely without sin in which case you picked the wrong fucking industry, in forgiving my friend his trespasses and offering him the same clean slate you have me, allowing him to continue his great and ongoing contribution to our collective art without shame. He’s hugged the cactus long enough. Hide
A lot of my peer group think I'm an eccentric bisexual, like I may even have an ammonia-filled tenta Show more A lot of my peer group think I'm an eccentric bisexual, like I may even have an ammonia-filled tentacle or something somewhere on my body. That's okay. Hide
[on U.S. Marshals (1998)] I thought maybe there was something I was missing, and what I really neede Show more [on U.S. Marshals (1998)] I thought maybe there was something I was missing, and what I really needed to do was to be in one of those films that I love taking my kid to. It would end up being really depressing. I'd rather wake up in jail for a TB test than have to wake up another morning knowing I'm going to the set of U.S. Marshals. Hide
[on Chaplin (1992)] Chaplin was the culmination of an opportunity, and the biggest humiliation I've Show more [on Chaplin (1992)] Chaplin was the culmination of an opportunity, and the biggest humiliation I've ever experienced. It was like winning the lottery, then going to prison. I realized that nothing that had worked for me before was going to work here. I'd watch one of Charlie's films, but by the end of it I was wildly depressed, because I realized that what he'd done in this twenty-minute short was more expressive and funnier than everything I've thought about doing my whole life. Hide
[on winning an Oscar] As long as I stick around I'm going to end up with a bunch of them anyway as t Show more [on winning an Oscar] As long as I stick around I'm going to end up with a bunch of them anyway as they're going to run out of people to give them to. And I'm probably going to win it one year when someone else deserves to win it. Why? Because it's my time, goddammit. And that's the way shit works around here. I'm just an uptight mutt at the top of his game. Welcome to Hollywood, bitch! I'll see you at the Vanity Fair party and I'll be holding that golden statue you deserve 'cause guess what? It happened to me too! Hide
Mel Gibson cast me in The Singing Detective (2003), even though an insurance company wouldn't cover Show more Mel Gibson cast me in The Singing Detective (2003), even though an insurance company wouldn't cover it because it was my first film after my release from behind bars. The best part was when Mel gave me a motorcycle while we still had two weeks left to shoot. I go,"'Are you trying to ruin this movie? What if I have an accident?" He goes, "No, no. I figure if you made it two-thirds of the way through, you can't do anything wrong." Hide
[on Mel Gibson] He's a stand-up guy - he's always has been for me - and certainly when I was not hir Show more [on Mel Gibson] He's a stand-up guy - he's always has been for me - and certainly when I was not hire-able, he put his ass on the line and said, "I'll take that chance." He will always have my friendship, and that's just talking about business and Hollywood stuff, which to me is nowhere as important as friendship. Hide
The higher the stakes, the happier I am, the better I will be. The higher the stakes, the happier I am, the better I will be.
[on why he did Danger Zone (1996)] Five hundred grand for two weeks. [on why he did Danger Zone (1996)] Five hundred grand for two weeks.
[on his music] I am putting together some ideas for two or three more things I want to do. Maybe a C Show more [on his music] I am putting together some ideas for two or three more things I want to do. Maybe a CD of just my kind of standards, which would be Supertramp and Steely Dan covers with an orchestra. I'm deep into old Genesis. I'm sorry, but these are songs that mean something to me. "Follow You Follow Me" is a song that's about something to me. Hide
I've become a picky little bitch. I've never bothered to plan projects before. I just used to throw Show more I've become a picky little bitch. I've never bothered to plan projects before. I just used to throw the script across the room and say, "Why do they keep sending me this horseshit?" And then I'd start rehearsals two weeks later. Hide
[on his addiction to drugs] It's like I have a loaded gun in my mouth, and I like the taste of metal Show more [on his addiction to drugs] It's like I have a loaded gun in my mouth, and I like the taste of metal. Hide
[on U.S. Marshals (1998)] Possibly the worst action movie of all time, and that's just not good for Show more [on U.S. Marshals (1998)] Possibly the worst action movie of all time, and that's just not good for the maintenance of a good spiritual condition. You've had a traumatic year, you've been practically suicidal - what do you think would be really healing for you? How about like twelve weeks of running around as Johnny Handgun? I think that if you talk to a spirit guide, they would say, "That'll kill you." Hide
[on Mickey Rourke] He's so good. And he's formidable and he's very much reminding me of that kind of Show more [on Mickey Rourke] He's so good. And he's formidable and he's very much reminding me of that kind of charming, confident guy that we know. Hide
I'm not used to feeling like I belong where I am. I'm not used to feeling like I belong where I am.
[on Black and White (1999)] A stage slap from Mike Tyson is like a shovel whack from a normally fort Show more [on Black and White (1999)] A stage slap from Mike Tyson is like a shovel whack from a normally fortified male. Hide
What do you say, though -- if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan. What do you say, though -- if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan.
[his Golden Globe acceptance speech for Best Actor-Comedy or Musical] If you start playing violins, Show more [his Golden Globe acceptance speech for Best Actor-Comedy or Musical] If you start playing violins, I will tear this joint apart. First of all, I want to thank my wife Susan Downey for telling me Matt Damon was going to win so don't bother to prepare a speech. That was at about 10 a.m. I don't have anybody to thank. I'm sorry. Everyone's been so gratuitous, it was a collaboration, we all did this together. Certainly not going to thank Warner Brothers, Alan Horn, and my god, robbing off these guys. They needed me. Avatar (2009) was going to take us to the cleaners. If they didn't have me, we didn't have a shot buddy. What am I going to do? I'm not going to be able to thank Joel Silver. I mean the guy has only restarted my career twelve times since I began twenty-five years ago. I really don't want to thank my wife because I could be busing tables at the daily groom right now if not for her. Jesus, what a gig that would be. Guy Ritchie had a great vision for this film and a lot of great people came together and we worked our asses off. It's just a privilege. The Hollywood Foreign Press has a quote by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was a genius by the way, and he said "Art is the blood, Is libel to take to the strongest forms." That is also why I would like to thank, or not thank, the Hollywood Foreign Press because they are a strange bunch of people and now I'm one of them. Thank you. Hide
I did Air America (1990) for two reasons: to be in a movie with Mel Gibson and to make a bunch of mo Show more I did Air America (1990) for two reasons: to be in a movie with Mel Gibson and to make a bunch of money. And then underneath there was the hope that in doing this formulaic thing I would be launched into a whole new realm of opportunity to do A-list movies. By the time we were done, the only positive thing was meeting Mel Gibson. Hide
[2010] I've noticed that worrying is like praying for what you don't want to happen. I don't worry, Show more [2010] I've noticed that worrying is like praying for what you don't want to happen. I don't worry, but I observe where my mind tends to go. I have such an overwhelming sense that if you're in the right state of heart, which I have been for a little while, the next right thing appears to you. Hide
I don't want to go all Michael Jackson on you, but I never really had a childhood. I don't want to go all Michael Jackson on you, but I never really had a childhood.
[on Weird Science (1985)] I defecated in [Renee Props's] trailer, much to the chagrin of Bill Paxton Show more [on Weird Science (1985)] I defecated in [Renee Props's] trailer, much to the chagrin of Bill Paxton and Robert Rusler. It was a real bad scene. Joel Silver freaked. I never admitted it. Joel said, "Downey, did you do it?" and I said I wish I had. Because I'd been threatening everyone that if they didn't treat me right, I was going to take a dump in their trailer, or that I'd go take a shit in Joel's office, on his desk or something. Hide
[on Sean Penn] In a relatively short time he was a better friend than some people I'd known for ages Show more [on Sean Penn] In a relatively short time he was a better friend than some people I'd known for ages. I remember him saying three or four years ago, "You have two reputations. I think you know what both of them are, and I think you'd do well to get rid of one of those reputations. If you don't, it will get rid of the other one." And I was like, "Two reputations, I'll be right back." Just hearing him say that reminded me that I should go score. After that, he was like, forget it. It sucks, too, because someone as honorable as he is, I really should have responded. Jesus, I grew up idolizing this guy. Not only does he consider me a friend, but he's taking time. He's got a family. He's got a career that's going well. He's living his dreams and making time for me, and I'm like, "I can't, I just can't - sorry, busy." Hide
[on never winning an Oscar] I know it's going to happen. That's just a fact... because it just doesn Show more [on never winning an Oscar] I know it's going to happen. That's just a fact... because it just doesn't make sense. That's why I don't mind showing up and watching everybody else get them... Look, even if I don't get one directly, eventually they're just going to have to give me one when I get old. So no matter how you slice it, I'm getting one... I should probably have more, but zero's fine. Hide
I don't drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs. I don't drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs.
[2010, on landing Iron Man (2008)] I prepared for the screen test so feverishly that I literally mad Show more [2010, on landing Iron Man (2008)] I prepared for the screen test so feverishly that I literally made it impossible for anybody to do a better job. I had never worked on something that way before; I was so familiar with six or nine pages of dialogue, I had thought of every possible scenario. At a certain point during the screen test, I was so overwhelmed with anxiety about the opportunity that I almost passed out. I watched it later, and that moment came, fluttered and wasn't even noticeable. But to me, it was this stretched-out moment of what keeps people from doing theater for 30 years - just an unadulterated fear of failure. Hide
[his experience working on One Night Stand (1997)] I'm really struggling with something right now an Show more [his experience working on One Night Stand (1997)] I'm really struggling with something right now and it was kind of cathartic to play that part in the film because it was someone who's own proclivities and own sexual promiscuity and own desire to "eat life live fast" was the reason he wasn't going to be there for his friend when he might have enjoyed him most Hide
Nobody has cornered Halloween as a market since Halloween (1978). Nobody has cornered Halloween as a market since Halloween (1978).
As soon as I started smoking heroin instead of smoking coke, everything was different, and I knew it Show more As soon as I started smoking heroin instead of smoking coke, everything was different, and I knew it was. And it happened around the time I was doing Home for the Holidays (1995). Home for the Holidays is, for me, one of the most relaxed performances in the history of cinema. I can't attribute that to the fact that I was at a serene place in my life, or that there was a real warm feeling on the set. This is a problem for me because I glamorize this stuff. I can't say that it wasn't real dark, real evil and real hurtful to those around me. And yet, practically every take of that film was a print. God bless Jodie Foster. When does she have time to do a handwritten letter telling someone how she genuinely cares about them? She said, "Listen, I'm not worried about you on this film. You're not losing it or nodding out, and you're giving a great performance. I'm worried about your thinking you can get away with doing this on another film." Hide
[on Restoration (1995)] I just thought [Hugh Grant] was a dick, that's all. And I still do. You know Show more [on Restoration (1995)] I just thought [Hugh Grant] was a dick, that's all. And I still do. You know, and that could be something that has to do with me, or it could just be that not everyone in this industry is someone I'd care to hang out with. Hide
Robert Downey Jr.'s FILMOGRAPHY
as Actor (80)
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