Entertainment news websites and magazines were recently screaming this headline: "Robert Downey Jr. is the Highest Paid Actor"! But it's not surprising really, as Mr. Downey had six films that earned more than $500 million in the box office. In this post, I am walking down memory lane remembering his previous works that make up some of the reasons why Robert Downey Jr. is the highest paid actor in Hollywood:
1. He is Iron Man
While he was already known in the movie industry as an actor armed with critically-acclaimed films, Mr. Downey rose to superhero status with his portrayal of this Marvel Comics character and its alter-ego, Tony Stark. It was unexpected for him to be casted in the role but when the first Iron Man film came out in 2008, we all know why he was the best person to wear that suit. Robert Downey Jr. is the highest paid actor because he IS Ironman. I said it. That's it!
2. He Was Chaplin
But before he became Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. came out in the silver screen and played Charlie Chaplin in the 1992 film that earned him an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor. He was brilliant in this film and took time to learn how to play the violin and hold a tennis racket using his left hand.
3. His Comeback Slammed All Comebacks
Read Mr. Downey's life story and you'll be drowned in the number of drug-related arrests that involved him. He was a junkie as young as eight (or six if you read other accounts) and went on with the habit even when he became a professional actor. The years 1996 to 2001 were a tumultuous time for him but when he came back, he was all set to reconquer the world that he left for a while. He made a string of films, including A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Fur, Good Night, and Good Luck, A Scanner Darkly, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Zodiac. Then he became Iron Man and Lazarus in Tropic Thunder to name a few. Indeed, making movies is lovelier the second time around.
4. He's Friends with Mel Gibson
The two starred in a film called Air America. Before he went into drug rehab, Mel Gibson wanted to cast him in a stage play of Hamlet, but the actor-director was forced to close the curtains of the show. When he made a comeback in 2003, it was Mel Gibson who paid Downey's insurance bond to act in "The Singing Detective." That got him moving in the film world and later earned several supporting and lead roles. He held that friendship close to his heart as he is reportedly helping Gibson make a movie comeback.
5. He Became Sherlock Holmes
I love Benedict Cumberbatch better as Sherlock Holmes, but Robert Downey Jr.'s acting in the film is not to be ignored. He worked on his British accent, lost weight to appear like the Sherlock of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's accounts, and looked perfect with Jude Law (who played Dr. John Watson) by his side. He was quirky, weird, and witty and that made him his own wonderful version of Sherlock Holmes.
6. He Starred in Tropic Thunder
This was a movie that had Jack Black, Ben Stiller, and Robert Downey Jr., so imagine - if you haven't watched this film - how crazy that is. Mr. Downey played the role of Kirk Lazarus, a multi-awarded actor who underwent a skin pigmentation procedure to play the role of a black guy. One hilarious movie!
7. He is a Darn Good Actor
Watch the films that he did and you will know what I am talking about. He is brash, arrogant, and colorful. I just hope that he did truly stop taking drugs. He really is a great actor. He plays it well, and in turn, Hollywood pays him well.
What do you think of Robert Downey Jr.?