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Robert Downey Jr. Says Quality of His Marvel Work Is Often Overlooked “Because Of The Genre”


Sat 13 Jan 2024 | 04:07 PM
Robert Downey Jr. in 'Iron Man'
Robert Downey Jr. in 'Iron Man'
Yara Sameh

As Robert Downey Jr. looked back on his career, he feels some of his “best work” didn’t get the attention it deserved because of the superhero genre.

The actor made a recent appearance on the Literally! With Rob Lowe podcast where he opened up about past experiences that didn’t go as planned but turned into teachable moments that ultimately made him better.

“Sometimes it’s those turning points too where we have been out in the cold and said, ‘What am I supposed to learn now?'” he said. “And I think those things can forge a bit of a new version of the same identity that is not so brittle, a little more malleable but also more capable.”

Downey revealed that he was feeling at the top of his career in 2019 following his 11-year run as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which he called some of his “best work” that went unnoticed because of the genre. 

Thus, when he received some of the worst reviews of his career after starring in the 2020 Stephen Gaghan-directed Dolittle, which Downey produced alongside his wife, Susan Downey, it was difficult. 

However, the actor told Lowe that he now knows the movie “just didn’t work,” and called it a much-needed humbling experience following Marvel.

“I felt so exposed after being in the cocoon of Marvel, where I think I did some of the best work I will ever do, but it went a little bit unnoticed because of the genre,” the actor explained.

“In a way, I did myself a favor, because the rug was pulled so definitively out from underneath me and all the things that I was leaning on as opposed to what my understanding of confidence and security was, boy did they evaporate. And it rendered me teachable. And the crazy thing is they say, ‘When the student is ready, the teacher will come,’ and that’s what happened.”

The Oscar-nominated actor exited the MCU in 2019 with "Avengers: Endgame". As for Dolittle, the movie currently sits at a 15 percent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.