Two-time Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. is the biggest star on the planet—which makes me happy—for all the wrong reasons. Instead of a legacy defined by the transgressive roles he once shouldered, he is now part of the pop culture elite for being a serf to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Imagine a return to form where RDJ’s method sensibilities took root again. That intensity, that commitment to the craft of character, that pitch-black humor that was heavier on sharpness than smarminess…man. More Less Than Zero, less The Judge.
Downey should’ve won his first statue back in 2008 for his self-effacing portrayal of a delusional method actor in Ben Stiller’s brilliant Tropic Thunder, but he didn’t stand a chance against the ghost of Heath Ledger, who won the Best Supporting Actor award posthumously for his preternatural performance as Joker in The Dark Knight.
I’m confident once RDJ is wrenched from Kevin Feige’s grasp, Oscar will be waiting with open arms.