One of the summer movies I'm looking forward to is Ironman, which opens in theaters on May 2nd. This is due not only to the fact that I was a long-standing fan of Ironman comic-books as a young boy, but also because the lead is being played by the talented Robert Downey Jr., who has a controversial past to say the least.
I'm a fan of his work as well, and also look forward to his performance in the upcoming war comedy Tropic Thunder, where he plays an Australian method actor who plays a black American soldier in Vietnam. It's a role that brings with it some controversy, could possibly bring Mr. Downey an award or two, after everything is said and done.
The New York Times goes on to explore the redemption of Robert Downey Jr. in detail in this weekend article, laying it out as follows:
A scant five years ago the only time you saw Robert Downey Jr. getting big play in your newspaper came when he was on a perp walk.
Yet when it came time for Marvel Studios to cast the lead for a huge franchise film, “Iron Man,” it bet on Mr. Downey. He is not only back in the game but at the top of it. Is this a great country or what?"
It goes on to emphasize the point with this anecdote:
"His romance with mood-altering chemicals didn’t end after he got out of prison. By 2003 he was an uninsurable serial relapser famous for being pulled out of hotels or other people’s homes in an addled, disheveled state.
As a movie star with a lot of pals, he lived a life beyond consequence until he finally wore out the endless mercies of the entertainment business. After he was fired from his spot on “Ally McBeal,” the bottom finally came, at a Burger King of all places.
On or around Independence Day in 2003, he stopped at a Burger King on the Pacific Coast Highway and threw all his drugs in the ocean. And while he was sitting there chewing on a burger, he decided he was done.
This being America, five years later you can walk into that Burger King, and if you order a Kids Meal you can get your own Robert Downey Jr. action figure, wrapped up in gadget ware."
Now that is an American happy ending, true Hollywood style.