Robert Downey Jr. of “The Avengers” – Who knew?!
The Avengers is, without a doubt, the flashiest superhero movie ever and may even be able to compete with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises for biggest Summer blockbuster of 2012. Chock full of leading men (and women), The Avengers certainly has a more star-studded cast than the upcoming Batman film. Lets take a moment to look at one of those leading men: Robert Downey Jr.
Downey Jr. has been acting for a long time (since the 70s) but his career has been somewhat infamous because of his bouts with drug and alcohol addiction. His first legal trouble came during a traffic stop for speeding which led to an arrest for drunk driving, possession of heroin, and possession of a pistol (unloaded). He was put on probation and sent to a rehab center. His probation was revoked because he continued to use drugs, so he was sentenced to 180 days in the Los Angeles County Jail where he got into a fight with another inmate. Since then he has been battling drug addiction off and on which, for a while, greatly hindered his acting career. He always had the talent, but no one would hire him because of his habits. Here are some other interesting facts about this talented and unique actor.
- Downey Jr. claims his father got him into drugs by offering him a joint (marijuana) when he was only 8 years old.
- While filming Two Girls and a Guy (1997), he was required to take daily drug tests.
- In New York, before acting full time, Downey Jr. worked at a shoe store, as a busboy in Central Falls restaurant, and in a notorious underground club as a piece of living art.
- Downey Jr. kept a good bit of the vintage clothing he wore in his title role in Chaplin (1993)
- He has studied classical ballet and various martial arts
- Downey Jr. literally buried the clothes he wore in Less Than Zero (1987) in an attempt to metaphorically bury his Brat Pack image.
- He was released from rehab for one day so he could shoot Elton John’s music video “I Want Love” which was shot in one continuous take at a mansion in Beverly Hills.
- Downey Jr. wore lifts at his director’s request in both Iron Man films and in Sherlock Holmes (2009) to increase his height.
- He was roommates with Kiefer Sutherland in the early 80s
And last, but certainly not least….
When trying to enter Japan for a premiere of Iron Man, Downey Jr. was detained because, after running his passport, the officials found “incredible criminal activity” that he had failed to report. After interrogating him for six hours, they finally let him in for the premiere, but he is no longer allowed in Japan again… ever.