Monday, April 12, 2010

Robert on Men’s Journal!

<--- the cover of the next month "Men's Journal"

Here's a
Stephen Rodrick's profile of Robert Downey Jr on the the May issue of Man's Journal...

On advice for practicing Wing Chun, a martial arts discipline:

“Seriously, don’t worry about looking like an idiot. It’s like life: The less self-conscious you are, the better it works. And remember, lots of ice and Advil afterward. Trust me on that one.”

On how Wing Chun helps him cope:

“This is all about focus. Wing Chun teaches you what to concentrate on, whether you’re here or out in the world dealing with problems. It’s second nature for me now. I don’t even get to the point where there’s a problem.”

On being reluctant to punch a stuntman full in the mouth while filming Sherlock Holmes:

“I was like, ‘I can’t or he’s not going to be able to play with his kids this weekend.’ And Guy (Ritchie) was basically saying, ‘He doesn’t have any kids.’ ”

On if he is worried about burnout from filming and promoting films:

“You don’t worry about something that has already happened,” he says with resignation. “You don’t need to worry about your car breaking down when you’re already on the side of the street with the hood up. Worrying is done. The hubcaps have already come off going around the corners.”

On being an actor:

“This is still art for commerce, at best. I consider myself to be a pain-in-the-ass artist who’s self-aware enough to still be tolerable. While I have a little bit of juice, I try not to rub it in anyone’s face, because it’s just disgusting. And I use the term ‘artist’ loosely.”

On his Iron Man character Tony Stark’s relationship with his dead father:

“We’re having Tony go back and really deal with the ramifications of his lack of connection to his dad, his almost professional-stock, prop-smile answers, and how he’d been using Dad’s memory as a weapon against others. He’s really feeling hugely conflicted by assumptions about his dad’s feelings about him and whether or not there’s any real connection between them at the most basic level, which is: You’re not here anymore for this. Is there something you have for me, is there something you left for me, is there some sort of bread-crumb trail I can find that will help fill me at this point in my life?”

Eric Oram, Downey’s Wing Chun instructor, on working with the actor:

“When he first came to me, insurance companies wouldn’t bond him for movies; he couldn’t get roles. I told him if he didn’t show up to a lesson, I was going to chop off his toes and feed them back to him. One day he didn’t turn up, and I told him goodbye. Then he had a couple of producers call me and vouch for him, saying, ‘He was with us in a meeting; he didn’t have a phone. It’s our fault. Don’t cut his head off.’ He has committed himself to it ever since and turned his life around.”

Guy Ritchie, on working with the actor:

“The word to describe Robert is hard. I know that’s fucking ridiculous in describing an actor, but he really can scrap. He’s done time in jail, which didn’t exactly soften him up. He has a real physicality that is pretty fucking amazing.”

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