Robert Downey Jr. On Life After Iron Man: ‘I’m Not My Work’

Robert Downey Jr. is finally facing the future.

The “Iron Man” actor bid farewell to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and his iconic Tony Stark character with this year’s “Avengers: Endgame”. Now he’s looking toward the next phase of his career in an interview with Sam Jones on “Off Camera”.

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“I had an incredible ten-year run that was creatively satisfying,” Downey says. “It was very, very, very hard work and I dug very deep, but I have not been forced to explore the new frontier of what is my creative and personal life after this.”

Playing the same character for a decade also made for a real creative challenge.

“It was a time when it’s like…[how] owners start looking like their pets…occasionally you would pull back from it and go, ‘Let me stop, let me get off the teet of this archetype and let me see where I stand.’ And you can feel really buffeted, you can get really spun out by it,” the 54-year-old says.

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Downey has also had to continually remind himself that he cannot be defined by this one character.

“First thing you learn in theatre arts: Aesthetic distance. I am not this play I’m doing. I’m not a character in ‘The Fantasticks’. I’m not Will from ‘Oklahoma’. Aesthetic distance: It’s job one,” he explains. “I’m not my work. I’m not what I did with that studio. I’m not that period of time that I spent playing this character. And it sucks because the kid in all of us wants to be like, ‘No! It’s always gonna be summer camp and we’re all holding hands and singing kumbaya. Isn’t it?’ It’s like, ‘No! Snap out of it.'”

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