From Iron Man to Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr. is quite the talented actor with some incredible performances under his belt. With that being said, let’s take a look at the man and some of his most memorable roles.
Born on April 4th 1965 to actor and filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. and actress Elsie Ann Downey, both Robert and his sister were surrounded by cameras from a very young age. Growing up he had minor roles in his father’s movies in which he made his acting debut at the age of five in Pound (1970). RDJ pursued this path and attended some different dance and acting schools until he dropped out of school at the age of 17 to work as an actor full-time.
His first big role was alongside Molly Ringwald (best known for her role in The Breakfast Club) titled The Pick-Up Artist (1987). The movie is a romantic comedy in which he plays a guy who picks up girls in unique funny ways until he meets this one girl who does not fall for his charms. The movie may not be a great one, but it for sure is funny and if you like those two actors, then it’s definitely worth it.
In Chaplin (1992), RDJ plays the iconic comedian silent film actor with Marisa Tomei by his side. The biopic is worth to be seen if you also like Charlie Chaplin and want to know about his life and his career as well as see RDJ’s great work of acting.
Heart and Souls (1993) is a movie I have been watching since I was six years old. The comedy movie tells the story of Thomas, who was born just after his parent’s car was involved into a car crash with a trolleybus. The souls of the four passengers which have died during the crash are now attached to Thomas and when he is an adult, they want him to help them with their unfinished business so that they can finally go to heaven. While this has some serious messages, it still feels light. I highly recommend seeing this movie because it is a sweet story with many fun scenes.
In 1994, RDJ reunites with Marisa Tomei in Only You. If you looking for a love story to watch but are tired of all the common ones, you may like this one. Faith believes in destiny and fortune tellers and when she finds out the name of her true love, she cannot stop looking for him. It takes her 14 years and an engagement to finally find him and then she takes destiny into her own hands. Make sure to have some tissues next to you!
From 1996 – 2001, Downey was arrested couple of times because of using drugs. He attended several drug treatment programs, which had not been successful. During that time he had a recurring role in the TV show Ally McBeal. Downey once said he tasted marijuana at the age of six, which was given to him by his father who was a drug addict and that he became addicted himself at the age of eight.
It took five years for RDJ to get clean, and the first bigger role after his absence was in the horror thriller Gothika. In the film, he played a colleague of Halle Berry’s character who becomes his patient because she is accused of killing her husband. If you are looking for a scary dark movie that will possibly cause you to throw your bowl of popcorn, this is the one movie you should pick up, but better leave the light on. Just in case.
One of my personal favourites is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005). You simply have to watch it! RDJ plays a thief who ends up in an audition to play a thief and lands the role. While preparing for his role, he should follow a private investigator (Val Kilmer) and from there on, everything goes all kinds of bad. I promise you will not be able to stop laughing.
I won’t recommend A Scanner Darkly or Zodiac because you have probably seen them already, but have you seen Charlie Bartlett(2007)? If not, do it now! The movie follows Charlie (Anton Yelchin) who was kicked out of several private schools for different reasons. However, his depressed mother puts him in a public school managed by Principal Gardner (RDJ). Charlie becomes friends with Susan (Kat Dennings), who is Gardner’s daughter. This comedy drama is worth watching. You not only will like the father-daugther relationship, but also love Anton, who will make you smile during the whole movie. For once you get to see Downey play a father figure, but the movie will make you miss Yelchin badly as well.
What follows is known to most people and I do not think I have to recommend any of them, because it is almost mandatory to watch them! The first Iron Man came to the big screen in 2008 and seven MCU movies in which he stars in follows. To be cast as Tony Stark would be the big turning point for Downey’s career.
The last two movies I want to recommend to you are The Soloist (2009) and The Judge (2014).
The Soloist is based on a true story of Nathaniel Ayeres (Jamie Foxx), a musician who suffers from schizophrenia and became homeless. The movie is based on the book by Steve Lopez (RDJ), a LA Times journalist who one day hears a violin being played on the street. He then starts to write about Ayeres in his column, but does not think that this is enough and wants to help him get off the streets. This heartwarming movie has it all: humour, courage, and love. This movie touches you and does not let you go.
In The Judge, RDJ plays a defense attorney who comes back to his hometown for his mother’s funeral. The movie explores the complicated father-son relationship and while it may not be the best, it does benefit from having Robert Duvall and RDJ in it with their scenes beyond terrific to watch.
What’s next in his filmography? Of course, at least one Avengers movie in which he will be part of in 2019, and then there is also The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle.
One upcoming film I am looking forward to is the third Sherlock Holmes, which is scheduled for release in 2020. Who is the better Sherlock: Cumberbatch or Downey? I will not answer this question. I like them both and each one portrays a very different Holmes.
While RDJ had a troubled past, he is an example for how you can be at the lowest point possible in your life and then be able to pick yourself up and come out as a better person. I believe that people can change and that you have to give them a chance to redeem themselves.
“The first MTV Movie Awards was in 1992 and I said ‘Wow, that’s my generation’s version of the Oscars. But when the first generation award was given in 2005, I thought simply, ‘Where’s mine?’ And I spent 10 long years patiently waiting to emerge from a massive trippy cat head and receive the recognition I’ve so desired, so thank you for that. In 34 years that have passed since the birth of MTV, I’ve grown up, I’ve struggled, I’ve failed, I’ve succeeded, I’ve partied way too much, therefore I’ve squandered, resisted, surrendered, repented, laboured, begged for second chances and literally clawed my way to the top. I’ve tried to live honourably and never forget my love of the game or my friends, so if a man is judged by the company he keeps, then I must be doing something right because, look who I’m rolling with. On behalf of my fellow Avengers, I invite you to dream big, work hard, keep your nose clean, be of service, and yes, because you can, define your generation.” – Robert Downey Jr.’s Acceptance Speech for the MTV Generation Award 2015