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Robert Downey Jr. Feels Underestimated For ‘Iron Man’ Role Due To Marvel’s Reputation

He believes his work in Marvel films was some of his best.

During a conversation on Rob Lowe’s podcast ‘Literally!’, Robert Downey Jr. reflected on his Iron Man role, suggesting that the high-octane genre might have overshadowed his acting prowess.

Downey Jr. played the character for 11 years, ending with ‘Avengers: Endgame’ in 2019. He voiced his belief that despite delivering some of his career’s finest performances in the MCU, the nature of superhero films possibly led to less recognition for his acting skills:

“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. [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.”

The discussion took a light-hearted turn when Downey Jr.’s phone rang during the podcast, leading Lowe to humorously speculate about Marvel contacting the actor. Lowe jokingly suggested that Downey Jr. should demand a substantial sum to reprise his role.

Will Downey Jr. Return as Tony Stark?

Before his success with MCU, Downey Jr. was not a stranger to critical acclaim, yet he hadn’t been a part of any major blockbuster. His 2008 performances in ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Tropic Thunder‘ led to a shift in his career trajectory and earned him widespread recognition.

Marvel Studios recently confirmed that they have no plans to bring Downey Jr. back as Tony Stark to respect the character’s emotional finale in ‘Endgame.’ However, this decision comes after a challenging phase for the MCU, which saw underwhelming box office performances from titles like ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ and ‘The Marvels.

Post-MCU, Downey Jr. had a setback with the 2020 family film ‘Dolittle,’ which he produced with his wife, Susan Downey. The movie ended up being a critical and commercial failure and a stark contrast to his time in the superhero genre. Despite this, the actor acknowledged the humbling experience, suggesting it offered him a new perspective on success and failure.

Downey Jr.’s Future Plans

Downey Jr.’s career, however, continues beyond Marvel. His recent role as Lewis Strauss in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ earned him a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, and he is currently in the running for an Oscar nomination.

His future projects include a television adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s ‘The Sympathizer,’ ‘Play Dirty,‘ ‘Sherlock Holmes 3,’ and ‘All-Star Weekend.’

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