Robert Downey Jr. talks Chris Evans as Cap and getting too old for Marvel
Robert Downey Jr. is one of the coolest guys in Hollywood. Part of that is because he's "been there." And, I mean that in both the best and worst of circumstances. He's kind of the Yoda of his era, having weathered the storm both personally and professionally, eventually becoming a kind of Cinderella story when he took on the mantle of Tony Stark in 2008's IRON MAN. Now, he's the ringleader of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in many ways and it's great to see him embrace the role he's helped define, not only as a character, but as an esteemed actor playing a superhero, which is something that would've gotten you laughed out of Hollywood not too long ago (unless you were Christopher Reeve, of course). Speaking to Variety in a little Q&A, Downey Jr. talked a bit about his next step in Phase Two of the MCU with THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, his championing of Chris Evans as Captain America, and getting too old to be a superhero, and more.
On urging Chris Evans to take the role of Captain America initially:
There was so much riding on (playing the part of) what essentially could be considered the squarest superhero in history. It was probably the most risky of the franchises we launched. I say “we,” like I’m a company man, which I like to think I am. By the way, I’m a fan of his.
On how many Marvel movies he has left in him and how his age stacks up to the rest of the MCU cast:
The smart money is you have to look at everybody’s age. I’ll put myself at the top of the list. Sooner or later, they’ve got to start over and get somebody young. I’m not there with them yet. It really is the closest thing to being a beloved contract player with a big old-timey studio that there is right now. When you really think about it at the end of the day, these films are entertainment largely driven by young folks. There is something very honorable about that. I run into kids wearing “Captain America” masks. My kid believes that Captain America is real.
On the downside of playing a superhero, as well as its perks:
It’s kind of like having a really cool TV job. They are always hoping they don’t get picked up for another season; or they are wondering if they’re going to get picked up for another season; or they have done so many seasons, and they are already sick of doing the show, but the show is so big, it’s working well for them. Any of those three things is better than calling your agent and saying, ‘Hey, anything going on? It’s pilot season.’ ”
On THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON:
This one is a very ambitious sequel. If you read it, it’s dense, it’s smart. Joss (Whedon) is a really smart guy. My 2-year-old is crazy about Hawkeye, and I think Jeremy (Renner) has a lot to do with the plot. There’s always so many plates to spin to get these things half-right, and I’m really excited about this one.
Downey Jr. has made a hell of a name for himself in just his four appearances as Iron Man alone and it feels like he's very aware of that and is riding the wave of this gig to the end. He's 48 years old now, which still gives him time for at least a few more turns as the Iron Avenger, but certainly there's a limit. Later this year, Downey Jr. will make an appearance in Jon Favreau's CHEF and stars in the crime drama THE JUDGE this fall before showing up as Tony Stark once again in THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON next year on May 1, 2015.
CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...