When Robert Downey Jr walked on stage in a designer suit, a sculpted beard and with a victory sign at his audience, you couldn’t help but recall the last scene of Iron Man (2008), where he says, “The truth is... I am Iron Man.”
Seated in the centre at the press conference for Marvel’s upcoming 3D production, The Avengers, in Los Angeles, the actor wasn’t there for interviews, but just to amuse. There was no getting a straight answer from him, so everyone played along. ‘So you were the mentor and the force uniting the actors on the sets?’ someone asked. “I offered rides back and forth from Albuquerque on my private jet,” said Robert, poker faced, before going on to make his point. “In 2007, when I was cast for Iron Man (2008), Kevin (producer Kevin Feige) said, ‘we’re going to have all these franchises come together, and we’re going to make this Avengers movie.’ I remember getting excited and doubtful of it. But then Chris Evans (Captain America) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) launched their franchises, so did Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk). I was like, ‘Wow, this is really going to happen’. So being a worker amongst workers is where I started out. It was nice as everyone was equal in this venture,” said the actor.
“And that will be my last sincere answer,” he added.
He proved it in response to the next question, ‘What do you like the most about your character?’ “The fact that he can pull off wearing a Black Sabbath T-shirt through the film. Iron Man didn’t set out to do anything noble, so he’s in a transition stage of kinds… a bit more Han Solo than Luke,” said Robert, describing his part with some help from filmmaker George Lucas.
Most of the actor’s last few films have been successful at the box-office — Tropic Thunder (2008), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Iron Man 2 (2010) and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (2011). The fate of his next, The Avengers — which is being distributed by UTV Motion Pictures in India and releases here on April 27, a week before the US — also seems to be riding on the shoulders of his metallic suit.