Robert Downey Jr on why he, Chris Evans left MCU: ‘We had to get off, we opted to’
Actor Robert Downey Jr has reflected on his journey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, comparing his legacy unfavourably to those of fellow MCU actors Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo. Downey Jr was interviewed for Disney’s Twenty-Three magazine. He played fan-favourite character Iron Man from 2008 to 2019, when the character was killed off in Avengers: Endgame.
Speaking for himself and Evans, who also retired from the franchise in Endgame, Downey Jr said, “We had to get off. We opted to, and knew it was part of the job to get off the bus while it rolled on to other destinations. There’s something very sobering about it. I’m glad he and I will be there to welcome others as they retire their jerseys.”
The actor said that he isn’t really fond of talking about his legacy, especially when compared to Evans, who played Captain America in the Marvel films, and Ruffalo, who continues to appear as Hulk.
“I really don’t need to look any farther than my co-stars. Mark Ruffalo is an activist, Chris Evans is a diehard American and proponent of true democracy,” Downey Jr said. “I don’t really have the gumption, the skill set, the drive, or the humility either of those guys do.”
In the decade that he was a part of the MCU, Downey Jr went from being a risky hire to the highest paid actor in the world, often projected as the face of the record-breaking franchise. He will next appear in another potential franchise-starter, The Voyage of Doctor Doolittle, followed by the third instalment in the Sherlock Holmes series.
In a previous interview, Downey Jr had insisted that he should not be defined by his work in the MCU. “I am not my work. I am not what I did with that studio. I am not that period of time that I spent playing this character,” he said. “And it sucks, because the kid in all of us wants to be like, ‘No. It’s always going to be summer camp and we’re all holding hands and singing ‘Kumbaya’.”
Avengers: Endgame overtook Avatar to become the highest grossing film franchise in history (unadjusted for inflation). The film has made $2.796 billion worldwide.
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