What will Robert Downey Jr.’s next big move be? His time as Tony Stark is over. Or at least, it’s over for now, we think. The actor has won the hearts of audiences already. He’s as likable as an actor gets today. Is it time to win the hearts of the Academy? Or should he remind us that he can be just as funny as Jack Black or Ben Stiller, as he proved in Tropic Thunder?
Insider Daniel Richtman has heard interesting things about Robert Downey Jr.’s future career plans. He claims that the actor’s currently interested in revisiting the Tropic Thunder stage of his career. This was an exciting time for him. The comedy Tropic Thunder first came out in 2008. This is the same year that the first Iron Man released, signaling the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe we know today. A year later, Robert Downey was in the first Sherlock Holmes. His career has been bustling ever since. With Tony Stark behind him, now is a good time to consider what new challenges might fit on his plate.
If Robert Downey Jr. is ever interested in winning an Oscar, as Daniel Richtman claims he is, Tropic Thunder is also the time point the actor would reference. Robert Downey Jr. has been nominated twice so far in his career. The first time was for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Chaplin in 1992. He was nominated again in 2008. This time for Tropic Thunder in the category for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.
To talk about Robert Downey Jr. possibly having Oscar ambitions, we have to talk about why he didn’t win one for playing Tony Stark. He played that character for more than a decade. He’s a great actor who learned his character. This built up to his performance in Endgame that broke audiences’ hearts. So why no Oscar? The biggest reason? He told Marvel not to put his name in the hat. Studios pay to have their work considered by the Academy. While Oscars have been won without these bids for attention, campaigns are intense. That’s not a problem for this particular studio. The Marvel Cinematic Universe clearly has backing. So after Endgame was released, many people were surprised to see the list the studio was putting forward didn’t include Robert Downey Jr.’s name. Wasn’t he awesome in Endgame? Shouldn’t he have at least been considered for an Oscar?
Around this time, Robert Downey Jr. went on the Howard Stern show. Stern asked about this. Clearly, we should all be outraged. Right, Robert Downey Jr.? But the actor saw things differently. He simply said, “Let’s not.” He said that playing the character of Tony Stark was reward enough.
Does this mean he’s not interested in an Oscar? Not necessarily. There is a lot of politics surrounding Oscar campaigns. In particular, there is a stigma around comic book movies and the Oscars. Around the time of this particular Oscar season, Martin Scorsese was talking about how Marvel movies are “not cinema”. Robert Downey Jr. said that he values the director’s opinion because we should have diverse opinions around. He added that Marvel movies play in the cinema, so there’s that.
Comedies aren’t traditionally the best attempts when playing for an Oscar. We often see actors lean more toward dramatic roles when they’re making that play. However, most of Robert Downey Jr.’s best performances show just how funny he can be, whether that’s in a Marvel movie or a dramatic piece. Surely, with such a career behind him so far, he’ll be able to find something great for his next work.