TORONTOSUN.COM – Guardians of the Galaxy deserves to be ranked number one among the 10 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to Robert Downey Jr.
Cue the gasps. Be astounded. I certainly was when Downey proclaimed his love for the mega-hit in an interview triggered by the coming world premiere of The Judge at the Toronto International Film Festival. “Galaxy in some ways is the best Marvel movie ever,” Downey says with admiration. “And it’s odd for someone with — on occasion — an ego the size of mine to actually say that!”
Downey, of course, is the star of three of those Marvel blockbusters, the Iron Man trilogy. He plays the Tony Stark/Iron Man characters with a kind of wit, exuberance and edge that elevates those movies above popcorn fare. Yet Downey still points to Galaxy as the winner. Because it was so unlikely. Because it could never have been made without its predecessors dominating the box office.
“We’re talking about how the Iron Mans and the Thors and the Captain Americas and the Avengers movies have afforded Marvel the opportunity to essentially take what was a third-tier, minor, kind of upstart bit of potential from one of their comic books series and say: ‘Look!’ ”
Downey offers a metaphor invoking football and the NFL and the Mannings. “It’s like you have a great quarterback, and his brother plays for another team, and then you say: ‘Look, this is their second cousin and we think he has a great arm and he should start.’ And then he goes and wins the Superbowl!”
Downey puts the success of Guardians of the Galaxy down to luck, to the trouble-shooting skills of the producing team led by Kevin Feige and to the ability of the marketing experts at Walt Disney Studios. “The armature and breadth of what Disney has done in their ability to put things to market is unprecedented.”
Downey remains thrilled to be working in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will continue, including in the next Avenger episode. After that, who knows? The actor is also involved with Team Downey, his own production company and the impetus behind The Judge. It is a serious prestige picture, but Team Downey wants to play in the sandbox with commercial fare, too.
“We like BIG movies,” Downey says of Team Downey, which he runs with producer wife Susan (Levin) Downey. “We are working on a Sherlock Holmes 3,” he says, without providing details.
Team Downey is also developing a franchise of its own, a Perry Mason-style thriller series set in the 1930s. “Then we have a story that Steve McQueen was developing before he passed away called Yucatan that I’m just on fire about.” And Downey just met with the writer of a live-action version of Pinocchio.
“I must play Geppetto,” Downey says of the kind-hearted puppet-maker who creates Pinocchio. “I see him as Chico Marx meets Jake LaMotta.” Hmmm, with the raunchiest Marx Brother crossed with the boxer whom Robert De Niro played in Raging Bull, this will not be our grandparents’ Pinocchio.
Last night, April 30th, Robert Downey Jr appeared on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” I’m unable to embed the video, so just click on the still image above to be led to the full episode; Robert appears around the 14:15 mark. In it, he talks about the “insane phenomenon” that is the Iron Man franchise… and he teases that he “doesn’t know” what his future holds when it comes to move Marvel films (wink, wink). Jon Stewart’s always a fun – and smart – interviewer, so definitely check it out.
On Friday, April 26th, Robert Downey Jr appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In the interview, he talks a bit about his birthday (and there’s a clip of him doing Gangnam Style in South Korea), his Oscar potential, breaking his ankle on the Iron Man 3 set, and he names his guilty pleasure snack. You can check out some pictures from the show in the gallery, or check out the entire episode below (he shows up around 16:50).
On April 17th, Robert Downey Jr attended the London photo call for Iron Man 3. There, he was joined alongside costar Gwyneth Paltrow and showed off their friendship in front of photographers. Immediately following the photo call, Robert and Gwyneth joined Don Cheadle, Sir Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall, screenwriter Drew Pearce, and director Shane Black for a press conference. You can watch a video of that below:
Entertainment Tonight debuted a “featurette” on Iron Man 3 this evening, showing both Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow on set. There’s some behind-the-scenes footage with the two of them, plus individual interviews. (Robert in particular talks about Exton and his role as a dad, not to mention the pros of the evolving Iron Man suits.) It’s short and sweet with some peaks at the recently released trailer, so check it out!
Some new tidbits from an Esquire interview have been released, along with a new photo shoot. You can check out an excerpt of the interview below and then head over to the source to read the rest, in which RDJ talks about pursing directing and enlightens readers on the best advice he’s ever been given. Enjoy!
Downey on his new son:
Three weeks ago, we had a bun in the oven, and we were about to have a kid. There was all this trepidation, all this projection, all this anticipation and goodwill and a good vibe about it. But what you’re squeezing to the side — or what’s in the glove box — is these thousands of forms of fear. And then he was born and they’ve all just kind of scattered now. It seems like he’s always been here.
Downey on being a father:
I guess here’s what’s come to me in the last three weeks: That anticipation and fear are going to come back. Am I going to know what to do with them? Does any new parent, even if you’re not a first-time parent, ever really know what to do? Only thing you have to do, the only requirement, if you can hack it, is to not transfer your own discomfort in the moment to this fresh soul, right? … You got to be mindful. I don’t want to be so confident in myself. It’s that balance between being relaxed enough to not be communicating anxiety and present enough to not be creating the very thing that you were anxious about by being so relaxed — because I’ve seen that parenting style, too.
Downey on being a hero:
Do I want to be a hero to my son? No. I would like to be a very real human being. That’s hard enough. Every dad casts a shadow, you know? And that shadow is you’re disappointed, you’re resentful, or you feel so supported and loved you don’t understand why life is so hard anyway — or, you know, it’s so long and so dark that you can never step out of it, so you might as well not even try. Right? So. So hero to me is not applicable to the human experience. I think that we all do heroic things, but hero is not a noun, it’s a verb.
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To promote The Avengers, Robert Downey Jr and Mark Ruffalo (Hulk) have been paired up to talk business. In the above interviews by Access Hollywood, a few subjects are touched upon, namely that Robert is a “mole,” having revealed that they recently filmed an extra scene for the film. (Did they or didn’t they?) The two previous co-stars (they also acted together in Zodiac) have great rapport, evidenced in the playful banner even when Ruffalo shows off a bracelet and confesses that it was a bad idea to bring his 4-year-old daughter to the premiere of The Avengers.
When talking to Omelete, Robert Downey Jr. confirmed his interest in the upcoming film, Pinocchio, to (hopefully) be directed by Tim Burton. You can check out a video of the brief interview in the link above (where he also talks about Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Iron Man 3), or just read a couple of highlighted bits below:
On Pinocchio: “I want to talk to him about it, yeah! C’mon, it’s Tim Burton.”
On Iron Man 3: “I think that we have an opportunity with the third Iron Man to make the best of the three, and maybe one of the better superhero movies that’s ever been made. But I think we have to remember what made the first one good. It was very character-driven. It was very odd. It was kind of outrageous. And so I think we have to have the courage to trust that the audience is really kind of cool, and smart.”