It was in 2008 that Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark for the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
He wasn’t the most obvious choice for the role, because up until then America’s superheroes had been a particular kind. And 43-year-old (at the time) stars who’d publically battled substance abuse were not it.
But Iron Man wasn’t your usual superhero. And Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t your usual actor.
And the 10-year-long movie series proved, it is impossible to imagine any other actor as Tony Stark – billionaire, genius, playboy, and of course, the man with the ‘coolest suit’ ever.
And even off-screen Robert Downey Jr. continued to impress his fans and peers alike with his epic gestures and witty comments. Cuz really, could he even be any other way:
1. Right from the start, he’s been the poster boy for savage interview comments, proving that art does imitate life – at least when Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark, it does.
At a press conference for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Robert Downey Jr. was not the first person to be asked a question. So obviously he brought that up when he was finally asked a question.
Oh, and he can get equally fun and savage with his fans too. Especially when they claim he’s the biggest diva. (*ahem, ahem*).
On the Jimmy Kimmel show, a fan asked who was the biggest diva among the Avengers cast, and shared that she felt it was Robert Downey Jr. Let’s just say, his response did not let down.
But it was also RDJ only who called his Iron Man co-star the “very first First Lady of Marvel”, and stated how Marvel is all about equality.
None of us are in competition with each other. We are all competing for each other. This is the MCU, right in front of you. It’s all about fighting for equality. The whole idea is to make space for others to succeed, and exceed our expectations.
2. He may affectionately be considered the biggest diva, but he also has the biggest heart.
8-year-old Aaron Hunter was suffering from a rare syndrome, ROHHAD, and posted a request online to meet Iron Man. Downey responded by face timing with the young fan and followed it up with a personal visit, where he also asked people to donate for the cause.
Selfie game on point! Aaron and I are devising ways we can #gomadforrohhad…Donate just $10 bux (https://t.co/ywpvrsvUm3) to win a trip to #hollywood for the #avengersinfinitywar world premiere. Proceeds benefit @Rohhad_Global and #brianortegafoundation. See you there! pic.twitter.com/wouSDCwWHG— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) March 24, 2018
Similarly, when 7-year-old Alex Pring – who wasn’t born with an arm – got a new bionic limb, guess who presented him the bionic arm. Yes, the Iron Man himself.
3. Robert Downey Jr. believes in making an entrance. And it’s near impossible to pay attention to anyone but him when he enters the room.
In 2014 when the Avengers: Age of Ultron cast assembled at the comic-con, Robert Downey Jr. threw roses to the crowd and sashayed (there really is no other way to say it) to his place on the stage.
Back in 2012 he literally danced his way into the comic-con and our hearts, of course.
And he never stopped, especially as Avengers: Endgame promotional tour rolled in. (Yes, there is a god and he asked Robert Downey Jr. to dance for his fans.)
Also, don’t you dare miss that boombox! That’s exactly what everyone needs when gearing up to beat Thanos.
4. Obviously, when it comes to RDJ, his banter (that masks his love) with the rest of the Avengers is exactly what one would expect from Tony Stark.
Robert Downey Jr.’s legendary wit is best served on social media, especially Twitter.
When Easter and April Fool’s Day fall on the same day… pic.twitter.com/AHoabvooRV— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) April 1, 2018
And of course, his costars and friends are the ones who experience that famous wit the most.
Who knew @TomHolland1996 would be my ride around town? pic.twitter.com/ZZ2sAysuWg— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) March 28, 2019
Is this a shot of @TomHolland1996 trying to keep himself from spilling the Endgame beans? pic.twitter.com/6JahPDXHNw— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) April 26, 2019
This is what happens when they aren’t designed by Stark, @ChrisEvans pic.twitter.com/G69KepXDfH— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) April 12, 2019
Technically it’s YOUR umbrella. But I’m happy to hold it. https://t.co/tFqWFqCSv3— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) March 13, 2019
Ok this time it’s real—Who wore it best, @ChrisEvans @MarkRuffalo? pic.twitter.com/EyrKGKVfem— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) March 20, 2019
Looks like Owen’s about to get his ass handed to him. 😂 https://t.co/PIiaMs1jsD— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) July 6, 2015
hey @MarkRuffalo looks like Cap needs a little tutoring from the science bros.— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) January 8, 2019
I’m guessing the arc reactor doesn’t need some sort of annoying upgrade or download or new OS every 3 months. HELP ME! https://t.co/FjIbBBG3va— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) January 8, 2019
.@VancityReynolds Et tu, D-pool? Gimme a shout when Rogers boots you out for “cussing”!— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) February 20, 2016
Happy Valentine’s Day to all the shippers out there! ❤️😉 pic.twitter.com/VAVwRLDumo— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) February 14, 2018
5. Also, his loyalty to the team – unquestionable. You don’t get matching tattoos with just about anyone now, do you?
In 2018, the Avengers: Infinity War cast got matching tattoos, and it’s not just cool, it’s hella emotional too.
Of course, his birthday wishes and appreciation posts for his costars are no less awesome.
Happy birthday to the one who deserves far more than 12% of the credit @GwynethPaltrow pic.twitter.com/ihIrYbXzm0— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) September 27, 2018
Showin’ me the ropes since 2007, so glad u were born, brother J.. @Jon_Favreau pic.twitter.com/SLlM4GyJeG— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) October 19, 2018
6. He also never shies away from crediting the person who helped turn his life around. His partner-in-love, his wife Susan Levin.
Robert and Susan met in 2003 and got married in 2005. And till date, Robert credits his wife for helping him curb his addiction and deal with substance abuse – something he publically battled with for almost five years.
Pro tip: Get a partner who jumps on board with all the weird stuff you do. pic.twitter.com/AGW3CWlpWQ— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) October 18, 2018
The couple even has a production company together, called Team Downey.
Keepin’ it classic. pic.twitter.com/AHQzKpJYf1— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) April 28, 2019
7. But let’s get one thing clear, no one does adorable interactions like Robert Downey Jr. Of course, the kids love him 3000. Okay, yeah, us adults love him 3000 too!
During Avengers: Age of Ultron interviews, Robert Downey Jr. and Mini Thor sat for what can possibly be termed as the most adorable interview in the history of interviews.
There was also the time when he made a surprise appearance during an Iron Man 3 kids costume contest at San Diego Comic-Con 2012. Best surprise ever?
Obviously, his onscreen favorite kid Peter Parker gets a whole lotta love too.
Or even ‘archrivals’ like the DC world.
8. And he has always, always, appreciated the love and loyalty of his fans, in the warmest way possible.
Notice the caption here? (If you’ve seen Avengers: Endgame, then yes, this is when sobbing intensifies.)
View this post on Instagram
To the #fans of the #MCU Thank you for your overwhelming support all over the world… #flashbacksaturday to the @avengers @marinabaysands fan event… I’m still trying to catch my breath… #TeamStark represents @marvelstudios #everydayallnighteverywhere #hair @davynewkirk #style @jeanneyangstyle (🎥 @jimmy_rich )
There was also the time when Robert, along with Benedict Cumberbatch, appreciated the hell out of an adorable fanart.
CAN WE TAKE A MOMENT OF ROBERT DOWNEY JR AND BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH APPRECIATING A FAN ART WE LOVE A DUO pic.twitter.com/36LUwH0wnd— ✨Maria| SAW ENDGAME✨ (@quacksonqueen) April 16, 2018
9. And you may think no costume could beat the Iron Man suit, but over the years, Robert Downey Jr. has served up some pretty fun choices.
I mean the pictures literally speak for themselves. Now that’s fun fashion!
10. He really knows how to throw a party, and that’s always a great thing!
The birthday parties that Robert Downey Jr. has thrown for himself are legendary, to say the least. Like his 50th birthday party that had a giant ball pit and slide for entrance, and Duran Duran playing. Along with over 30 of his closest friends Yes, over 30.
Or the year before that, when he celebrated his birthday with a bunch of kids, watching the latest MCU movie – that just happened to be Captain America.
11. Oh, and his car collection can rival even that of Tony Stark.
Robert Downey Jr. garage collection of ‘exotic cars’ can make anyone envious – even Tony Stark himself. From an Audi R8 to Mercedez Benz G-Class, Bentley Continental GT, Ferrari California T- and many more luxury brands make it to Robert’s collection. However, what truly sets this real-life billionaire apart is when he arrived for an Iron Man premiere in a red Audi sports car, and its license plate just happened to read ‘Stark’.
It wasn’t just Tony Stark who made a place in our heart back in 2008. Robert Downey Jr. did too. And no one’s taking that place, ever!