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Robert Downey Jr. says his Iron Man role is some of his "best work" ever despite bias against the genre

Despite trying to distance himself from his decade-plus as Tony Stark recently, RDJ remains proud of what he accomplished

Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame
Image credit: Marvel Studios

As much as he's tried to distance himself from Marvel and the career-defining Iron Man role, Robert Downey Jr. nonetheless thinks Tony Stark is some of his "best work" ever.

Ahead of a potential Oscar nomination for his supporting role in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer, the actor has been appearing in a number of interviews, actors-on-actors reunions, and podcasts. Recently, while on Rob Lowe's 'Literally' podcast, the matter of ever returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe was, of course, brought up. According to RDJ, the call hasn't happened yet, but that didn't stop him from briefly talking about his long tenure as Tony Stark aka Iron Man.

Lowe started off by saying that RDJ's "phone is going to ring" and that Marvel "fucked everything up," adding that the actor should ask for a ton of money if he's returning at some point. While Marvel honcho Kevin Feige says they don't want to "undo" Tony Stark's sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame, that doesn't rule out a multiverse-related appearance down the line in Avengers: Secret Wars or somewhere else. Downey didn't enter that conversation, but admitted he thinks his run as Tony Stark was great: "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."

He continued by adding that leaving Marvel behind was a good thing to grow as an actor and keep his confidence levels down: "[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."

As Variety's report wisely pointed out, the family tentpole Dolittle became an "infamous box office flop" despite how big RDJ's name was supposed to be after his run as Iron Man, potentially influencing his post-Marvel career and franchise-related decisions.


As Disney and Marvel Studios try to improve things at the Marvel Cinematic Universe camp, some returning actors are hoping to interact with big-name heroes such as Tony Stark one day. What are the chances of these team-ups ever happening? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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