Robert Downey Jr. is set on leaving Tony Stark behind.
Arguably the most bankable star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, RDJ opens up on getting “of the teat of this archetype” that he’s been under since Iron Man’s 2008 release.
During his guesting on interview series Off Camera with Sam Jones the actor got candid on his future prospects after his monumental success with Marvel. Speaking to the photographer and director, RDJ says about his experience with the MCU:
“I had an incredible ten-year run that was creatively satisfying. It was very, very, very hard work and I dug very deep, but I have not been forced to explore the new frontier of what is my creative and personal life after this,”
The actor opened up about how playing the same character can be quite limiting.
“By creating and associating and synergizing with Tony Stark and the Marvel Universe..and being a good company man but also being a little off kilter and being creative and then getting into all these other partnerships, it was a time when it’s like…[how] owners start looking like their pets…occasionally you would pull back from it and go, ‘Let me stop, let me get off the teet of this archetype and let me see where I stand.’ And you can feel really buffeted, you can get really spun out by it.”
We’ve seen this with actors who struggle to separate themselves from the characters they’re widely associated with. As for Downey Jr., he reveals the secret to separating oneself from one’s work.
“First thing you learn in theater arts: Aesthetic distance. I am not this play I’m doing. I’m not a character in ‘The Fantasticks.’ I’m not Will from ‘Oklahoma.’ Aesthetic distance. It’s job one. I’m not my work. I’m not what I did with that studio. I’m not that period of time that I spent playing this character. And it sucks because the kid in all of us wants to be like, ‘No! It’s always gonna be summer camp and we’re all holding hands and singing kumbaya. Isn’t it?’ It’s like, ‘no! Snap out of it.’”