In-Depth Interview With Robert Downey Jr. Says The "Better" The Script "The More Annoying It Is"
Robert Downey Jr. takes you inside his process in this in-depth interview with Off Camera. A must read/watch, said Downey on the interview, "...I think forums like this – when they’re not for selling soap, when there really is an interview – are vital..."
Robert Downey Jr. is really forthcoming in the interview above and touches on his approach to the acting profession and how his belief in adlibbing affects his relationship with different types of directors. Truly a must watch, but for those without the time to sit through the hour-long video I've highlighted some of the pertinent CBM topics.
Touching on his role selection process, Robert answers whether consumer desire to repeatedly see him in roles similar to Iron Man factors into his decision making.
Downey: "They don’t, or I’m not listening to that consumer all the time. And I don’t mean to be so rigid and professorial about the whole thing, but I also just tend to think about what kind of story it is. I know what my strong suit is, and I also know the areas in which I want to make inroads, and it’s unlikely that I’ll make inroads in a situation where I don’t really know the people or where I’m not super excited about the theme of the movie.
So it’s kind of a combination. I tend to think about things very objectively; it’s just marketplace. I don’t like making movies that nobody’s going to see or care about, and I also don’t want to try to do just “important” movies, because every movie’s important. For instance, the thing I’m doing next is a courtroom drama of sorts. But it’s a lot more than that, and the only reason I’m doing this movie is because my wife is producing it. She’s passionate about it. It’s a fantastic script, and it is a bit of a departure for both of us. And now that we’re doing this courtroom drama (even though it really isn’t one), we’re getting all these courtroom drama scripts, like that’s what we want to do for the next 12 years. And I’m like, “Well strangely, no.”
On the projects that he actually does say yes to, what's the next step for Robert and how does he handle the script?
"Well, it’s changed. Since working with Jon Favreau on the first Iron Man, I have practically zero regard for what is physically printed on the pages when I go to work. And sometimes, the better the writing is, the more annoying it is, because it’s more likely I will not be able to innovate within it. So it’s a problem. It’s gotten to the point where director Todd Phillips, when we were finished shooting Due Date, said to me, “I figured it out. You hate paper.” (laughs)
I think some of that is my own hubris and ego. I come from a family of writers and I like writing, and I think I at least know how to write for myself, and often times if I take a stab at a scene, all the characters can come off a little better. So what’s my process? Over the last five or seven years, it’s been kind of like drunken monkey. Now I keep the attention on the issue at hand: the issue is bringing the best me I can bring to the set every day. With what we’re doing, you can just pick anything from the Chinese menu, and anything’s really fine as long as I’m in good shape, and it feels good, and if the blocking doesn’t feel like we’re doing a teleplay and all that stuff."
Donwey admits that he'll direct a film of his own one day.
"I guess so. I have one in mind, and of course I picked the one movie in our lineup that’s a big puzzle; no one knows how we would do it. But I like it in the same way girls like it when you hand them a necklace that’s so knotted up you think you should just throw it away, and then they untangle it, you know? I like that challenge and maybe that’s what I’ll do. Maybe not. Maybe it’ll just lead me to something else, but right now I’m pretty happy just being in front of the camera and taking it easy. I’m not a kid anymore, but I have kids. Directing is a two-year commitment, you know?
On the Marvel Universe.
"In the Marvel universe particularly, it’s like we’re always wondering what we would want in this moment or at this development of the franchise. We’ve created an expectation. If we’re sitting in the audience, we always want something that we didn’t expect after the credits are done – an Easter egg, or whatever you call that thing. A postscript. People love that. So certain aspects of replicating success become pretty identifiable – it goes here every time, and it’s kind of like this, but it shouldn’t be exactly like it’s been before.
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Based on Warren Ellis' Extremis storyline and following the box-office shattering events of Marvel's The Avengers, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has become the target of global terrorist The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley) who has secretly been the mastermind behind most of the tragedies in Tony's life. Isolated from his fellow Avengers, Tony will have to devise his most advanced armor yet if he hopes to save the woman he loves, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). Standing beside Tony as he takes on Mandarin's villainous allies and Ten Rings subordinates will be War Machine James Rhodey (Don Cheadle) who was conspicuously absent during the Chituari invasion in New York. Based on a screenplay by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and Drew Pearce (Godzilla, Sherlock Holmes 3).
Running Time: 2 hr 10 min (confirmed)
Release Date: May 3, 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (confirmed)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebecca Hall, Don Cheadle, William Sadler, James Badge Dale, Yvonne Zima, Stephanie Szostak
Directed by: Shane Black
Written by: Shane Black (screenplay) Drew Pearce (screenplay) Stan Lee (comic book) Jack Kirby (comic book) Don Heck (comic book) Larry Lieber(comic book)
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