Robert Downey Jr. Talks Improvising, Co-Stars and ‘Sherlock Holmes’

One of the most anticipated sequels of the year was finally being released this past weekend: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.  Returning to the role of the English detective is Robert Downey Jr., who received rave reviews for his portrayal in the 2009 original.  But ever the team player, Downey won’t take sole credit for the film’s success: in an interview with Collider, Downey talks about his co-stars in the film and how they helped make the sequel worthwhile.

Many have commented on the interplay between Downey and his counterpart Dr. Watson, Jude Law.  Downey describes that some of that energy comes from improvising on the script, revealing, “The goal is to make a well-written scene seem like it’s improvised, and come up with things that you find in the room, that you couldn’t have known until you get into the real situation. You just try to improve things, as you go along.”  But aside from Law, Downey also has praise for the man play Holmes’ arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty, Jared Harris.  Harris was cast relatively late in pre-production, and Downey particularly compliments him for being able to jump into the role, saying, “Everything Jared Harris did, in the course of making this movie, was essentially thrown at him with very little time to prepare. It was shock and awe. I think what he brought with him was something that was just so particularly him, while still being this character. It honestly is the main reason that the movie works, but it was also an exercise in trial by fire for him.”

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows opens in theaters on December 16.

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