It’s been a busy awards season for Robert Downey Jr. who just scored his third Oscar nomination for his role as Lewis Strauss in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. But he’s in a much different place this year than he was when he received his first Academy Award nod in 1993 for best leading actor for his portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin.
The actor made a recent appearance on The View and addressed why he thought it would have been the worst thing for his career if he had won an Oscar that year at age 28.
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“I was young and crazy,” Downey Jr. said. “It would have put me under the impression that I was on the right track.”
The actor ended up losing to Al Pacino, who won the best actor award for his role in Scent of a Woman.
Following his first Oscar nod, Robert Downey Jr. found himself in repeated trouble with the law, having been arrested and jailed several times for drug-related charges in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
Throughout the years, Downey Jr. has spoken about his sobriety and past struggles with addiction, but last year, he also opened up about his year in prison in 1999, calling it “the worst thing that happened to me.” He also said on the Armchair Expert podcast that his prison experience was like “being sent to a distant planet where there is no way home until the planets align.”
Years later, Marvel took their chances on Downey Jr. when they cast him as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the 2004 Iron Man movie, and it paid off. The actor continued to reprise the career-defining role for several films, leading up to 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
Downey Jr. received his second Oscar nomination in 2009 for best supporting actor for his role in Tropic Thunder. The late Heath Ledger ended up winning the award that year for playing the Joker in The Dark Knight.
Now, the actor’s latest nod is among Oppenheimer‘s 13 Oscar noms, making it the most nominated film at the awards ceremony this year. The 96th Academy Awards will air live on ABC on March 10.
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