Robert Downey Jr has named the two most important films of his recent career.
The New York City-born actor, 58, is now among the most recognisable faces in Hollywood, perhaps best known for his performance as Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man. Downey Jr has reprised the role in nine other Marvel Cinematic Universe films, the most recent being 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
It is perhaps surprising then, that Downey Jr has named two other titles as the most important films he has done in the last 25 years.
The 2006 family-comedy film The Shaggy Dog starred Tim Allen as Dave, a deputy district attorney who is bitten by a dog and turns into the animal.
His new canine life gives Dave him a new perspective on the importance of family. Downey Jr played the villain Dr Kozak in the film, which was a critical flop, achieving just 26 per cent rating on reviews aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.
Dolittle was similarly derided when it was released in 2020, currently holding a rating of 14 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film starred Downey Jr as the title character, a physician who can speak with animals, a role made famous by Eddie Murphy in the Nineties.
In the interview, Downey Jr explained his reasons behind naming the two unlikely films.
“Honestly, the two most important films I’ve done in the last 25 years are The Shaggy Dog, because that was the film that got Disney saying they would insure me,” he said.
“Then the second most important film was Dolittle, because Dolittle was a two-and-a-half-year wound of squandered opportunity. The stress it put on my missus as she rolled her sleeves up to her armpits to make it even serviceable enough to bring to market was shocking.”
Downey Jr’s wife, Susan Downey, was a co-producer on Dolittle. The couple are founders of the Team Downey production company, which also produced the HBO series Perry Mason.
He continued: “After that point – what’s that phrase? Never let a good crisis go to waste? – we had this reset of priorities and made some changes in who our closest business advisers were.@
In the interview, however, the actor went on to explain his film Sr is “probably the most important thing I will ever do, which was being able to become part object and subject within a piece of ‘content’”.
Released in 2022, Sr is a Netflix documentary, directed by Chris Smith, examining the careers of and relationship between Downey Jr and his father. Robert Downey Sr died aged 85 in 2021.
Downey Jr made his acting debut when he was just five years old, making an appearance in his father’s 1970 film Pound.
In his early twenties, the actor starred in teen films such as Weird Science (1985) and Less than Zero (1987). He received critical acclaim for his lead role in the 1992 biopic Chaplin, for which he received his first of two Oscar nominations.
His second nod arrived in 2008 for his role as method actor Kirk Lazarus in the comedy-action film Tropic Thunder.
Downey Jr is next set to star in Christpher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which he told The New York Times has “been a bit of a demarcation line for me”.
The actor recently shared a cheery photo together with his Oppenheimer castmates, including Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, and Matt Damon.
Also spotted in the photo, however, was John Krasinski, fuelling speculation that the Office star may make a cameo in the star-studded film – something that Downey Jr acknowledged in his caption to the post, which has received almost five million likes.