Robert Downey, Jr.: “Nothing pleases me more than when somebody who was awe-inspired to be working with me realizes I’m just another schmuck”

30 Greatness Quotes
30 Greatness Quotes

iron_man_3_robert_downey_jrThough Robert Downey, Jr. is an acclaimed actor, in an interview with GQ he shrugs off the acclaim to point out how normal he thinks he really is what he calls a “ridiculous industry.”

In particular, he enjoys the surprise people have at finding out that he isn’t some kind of genius artist.  He explains, “Nothing pleases me more than when somebody who was awe-inspired to be working with me realizes I’m just another schmuck that they’re bored of hanging out with on a set. I love that moment. I like it when that persistent illusion is smashed.”

In fact, Downey has no problem with pointing out what he doesn’t think he’s good at as an actor, answering the question of “what are you bad at?” with “Tons. Everything I avoid. I don’t like opening doors and looking surprised. I can do all that emo stuff, but I’m so over everyone who has to have a meltdown— everybody is emotional all the time. In movies people seem to be more emotional than they would ever be if that situation was actually happening to them… And the funny thing is: People eat that up. It’s not that I’m better than that or I’ve transcended that, it’s that…I don’t know…once you’ve been in Amsterdam and you’ve been in some weird magazine shop and you see some title like ‘Hond Seks’—literally translated as ‘dog sex,’ by which he means ‘sex with dogs’—you just don’t want to go to that part of town anymore.”

When it’s pointed out to him that he just compared emotional acting to ‘dog sex’, he responds, “Yeah. I’m sorry, but they’re both these kind of grotesque things. I don’t want to say they’re grotesque, but I have a reaction to it. I know you go there and you do it and it works and people eat it up, but…”

Downey actually is the rare actor who puts his stamp on the film in the editing room.  When asked what he is trying to work on in Iron Man 3, he answers, “Pacing. Story. Payoffs. Setups. Moments. Surprises. All the stuff they’re doing. And then, once in a while I’m, ‘Please, guys—show me another take where I don’t look like I’m taking a s**t and screaming at the same time.'”


  1. Nice post. I love his work. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of my all time favorite films and I would give an arm and a leg to work with him on a project.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.