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Robert Downey Jr. Opens Up About Mel Gibson and Being Conservative in His Reddit AMA

By Jodi Smith | Celebrity | October 7, 2014 |

By Jodi Smith | Celebrity | October 7, 2014 |

Everyone’s favorite Jr. is taking questions from the reddit crowd to promote his new movie The Judge and be cool in general. (It’s Robert Downey Jr., you guys. In case you were thinking Freddy Prinze Jr. or something.)

RDJ talks about Iron Man, being conservative, Sherlock, and a myriad of other things in his AMA.

  • There are only four celebrities that I would want to hang out and have a beer with, but only as characters they have played; you as Kirk “I know who I am” Lazarus, Neil Patrick Harris as Barney, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy and Morgan Freeman as God. Which non-Hollywood celebrities would you most like to hang out with?

    A) I’d like to spend more time with Elon Musk.
    B) Andrew Luck, I got to meet him a few days ago, he seems cool, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.
    Let’s see… so many great new tennis players too…
    C) Anderson Cooper.

  • Ever since I saw you for the first time dancing with Jack Black and Ben Stiller on American Idol back in ‘08, I had always wondered how you got so smooth with your dancing and just all around being. So, what do you attribute your skills in those departments to?

    I’m an okay dancer. I remember attending modern jazz classes in New York when I was a teenager, and instructors stopping the class and asking me if I wouldn’t mind leaving. Correct. I don’t know how smooth I am, but about 25 years ago, while I was prepping for Chaplin, had an amazing education in movement from a variety of experts. Ben Kamen, Johnny Hutch, Lord Attenborough himself…

  • If you were a pizza, what kind of toppings would you have?

    I’ve been waiting for this question. Garlic. Extra cheese. Onions. Spinach. Pepperoni.

  • Would you be willing to elaborate on how going to prison made you lean conservative?

    In 2009 Downey conveyed his politically rightward drift to N.Y. Times reporter David Carr. “I have a really interesting political point of view, and it’s not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here, but you can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal. You can’t. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my proclivities and politics ever since.”

    Also the marketing for The Judge is very strange. A couple of months ago, it looked like a serious drama and now more like a legal comedy.

    I’ll answer the second question first.
    Over the course of lead-up to releasing The Judge, the audiences were telling us that yes, the evocative, dramatic aspects of the film were primarily what was holding their attention, however as our test scores were going higher and higher, much of that was due to the giddy dispersion of moments of laughter and release, situations and characters who behaved in a funny manner. And so Team Downey and the studio decided it was natural to lean into that. At its core, you could call it a drama. It’s a surprisingly humorous movie. In other words, it’s not a bleak nihilistic downer. It’s quite uplifting.
    Over the last 10 years, the world has changed, and I’m no exception. What I love about America is that your political views are not fixed by nature. It’s natural that I would see the downside of liberalism while housed in an institution, as it’s not an uncommon occurrence for people to take advantage of a system that caters to its psychological needs. To be pointed, humanity (myself included) is not above manipulating a democratic situation to suit its own selfish short-term goals. I hope that offers an explanation.

  • Thank you for making kiss kiss bang bang. Very underrated. What’s your favorite story about making that film?

    It was entirely shot at night. We were pretty giddy most of the time. I saw it last week by chance, and had a flood of fond memories. On the first day of shooting, Val Kilmer (genius) almost choked to death on a piece of catering chicken right before we shot the first scene of the movie. His eyes were still watering until we got to his close up. I’m so happy he’s still with us.


  • Being such a big star I imagine that you get many people asking for autographs etc. I was wondering what is the strangest or most memorable fan encounter that you’ve had?

    I love running into kids who didn’t expect to see me. I once ran into a four year old who just happened to be wearing a Captain America mask at the time. It seemed natural to him, being that he was Cap, to see some of his friends around. I think I was more excited than him.
    For the most part, autograph collectors are pretty cool, and when they’re weird, you just try to forget them.

  • What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date, and what’s the next one you’re looking forward to?

    In order of occurrence: Indio Exton and the daughter we’re having in November.

  • What ongoing TV show would you be willing to guest star or do a cameo for?

    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

  • You’ve spoken before about your willingness to re-don the Iron Man Armor if Mel Gibson was to direct. First of all, on a scale of 1 to 11 how serious were you? Secondly, what do you think Mel Gibson would bring to the Iron Man series and would you still consider returning if he does not direct?

    It was an offhanded remark to a journalist and friend. I have other projects in mind for Mel and I - sooner than later the Marvel Roster will be made public and all questions will be answered.

  • Is shawarma any good, and how are Hulk’s table manners?

    The Hulk is a slob. Bruce Banner’s etiquette is right out of the Tiffany Book of Table Manners. I remember shooting that shawarma post-credit scene, and having just finished Avengers: Age of Ultron, wondered how we’d beat it. Joss says “The way to win is to not try.”


  • My question is: In the last few years, it seems like the media has increasingly identified you with the character of Tony Stark. Can you talk about what that’s like, and how you hold onto your identity in the face it it?

    Let me try.
    The first Iron Man was essentially wrapping the character around a cooler version of “me.” As we’ve gone along, I’m starting to wonder who’s playing who, and I’m glad there are so many talented new people in the Marvel lineup. Ultimately, I’m real, and he’s not. It’s kind of important for me to remember that.

    I would suggest you read the entire AMA for yourself. RDJ comes off just as charming, charismatic, and affable as ever.

    Jodi Smith is a Senior Reporter, Film & Television at Pajiba. You can email her or follow her on Twitter.