I was thinking about this few days back and I have to say I totally agree with you and your perception of the whole thing. Also, I totally miss him being him and not a fake PR machine. But as you said, it is understandable why it is like it is.First of all, I am somehow glad I am not the only one who feels this way. And secondly, yes. A part of me is really sad about this because I find him fascinating and wonderful but it’s all more or less swallowed, or rather under the surface, now and covered by publicity and a certain “correctness”, which somehow makes it a bit less interesting. And I really wish this was different. But at the same time I really can’t blame him because it is so perfectly understandable and reasonable.
First of all let me start with an obvious, yet important bit of advice: Take this text with a huge grain of salt. It’s simply my take on things and I could be completely wrong this. But here’s what I’ve been thinking about:
It keeps happening again and again and again that I read or hear people say that Robert Downey Jr is a self centred egocentric, thinks he’s the most awesome person on earth, is superficial, would ‘throw his wife and kid off a cliff to get more attention’ and worse. And while I know of course that this is complete nonesense, it still bothers me. It’s so contrary to everything I believe he is and see in him. But I can see a little bit where this perception comes from. He’s largely acting up the Tony Stark persona whenever he’s publicly appearing somewhere, latest examples being of course the Kid’s Choice Awards, the Oscars, the People’s Choice Awards and maybe even Howard Stern’s birthday bash (I almost typed Stark here myself…). And it makes sense for him to do this. It’s been proven now for years that people just absolutely love him doing this, and therefore it is pretty safe sailing for someone with a past as troubled as his while additionally subtly promoting the franchise through merging with the character in public perception. How often have we heard the ‘Robert is Tony is Robert’ reasoning? And it works. It is safe territory and it pays a shit load of money, it would almost be unreasonable to not play along for him.
And then we have the whole ‘businessman’ part to it. He said himself that he likes to think of him in that role, and it also makes perfect sense. Going from uninsurable to being kind of a brand himself is seriously impressive and was a lot of hard work. And he’s established himself as someone people not only like, but love to work with, who’s reliable, who knows what he’s doing, whose creative input isn’t a nuisance but gold and who understands the importance of selling soap (because when the movie is shot, that’s where the real work usually begins if you want to make any money with it, just look at Jon Favreau’s Chef promo work atm). And to be perceived in this way today by the public, studios and colleagues, in comparison to ‘who knows if he even survives the shoot of this movie or badmouths it afterwards’ is nothing short of absolutely amazing. And I think it’s perfectly understandable that he feels comfortable in this perception and does everything to stay here. And his facebook and twitter are only two more examples of how his promotional machinery works at the moment. There may be the occasional glimpse of him, but I have no doubt that he carefully selects what goes online and what he does online. He’s not the type (anymore) to just tweet what’s on his mind and share his private life, there’s way too much at stake.
And I have to admit that I “miss” the old, more impulsive and personal bits a lot. But I understand why he’s doing it the way he’s doing it these days. But there’s still little glimpses in between and he’s spreading the things and messages that are important to him, but unfortunately a lot of people seem to miss this. I am not saying he’s never showing who he really is anymore, but I think it’s more rare these days, the machinery is oiled and running almost on its own, and it has to be a special occasion and definitely an absolutely Marvel-unconnected one to see it again. Recently really only the Off Camera interview comes to my mind. And even then he is a lot more careful with what he says than he used to be. It could become more interesting again with the Judge and when they promote it, as it will live from Robert Downey Jr rather than Tony Stark and I believe it would be fatal if people would expect him to be pretty much Tony Stark in this one. So they’ll have to take another route for it, and I’m really looking forward to see this. But he’ll still be Robert - businessman, I have no doubt about that.
And that’s when it strucks me as odd when people quote his facebook or tweets to ‘prove’ that he’s a self-centered asshole. Don’t get me wrong, I love that he has these two accounts now and shares some stuff, but it is both not ‘Robert Downey Jr - me, myself, and I’, it’s ‘Robert Downey Jr - actor, producer, writer, and businessman’. It’s a professional identity, not a private one. And I understand that it’s easy to confuse the two, but that doesn’t make them the same. Maybe he even wants them to be perceived as one and the same thing, but I think anyone who bothers to just scratch the glossy surface a little will see that what’s underneath is not the same and actually so much more interesting and beautiful.
There’s a kitten digging it’s tiny claws through my jeans into my flesh and it’s so cute but also SO FUCKING PAINFUL
Is it too late to post my “who is RDJ and why it doesn’t matter what I think” essay I largely wrote during my lunchbreak today?
We all know your hand wants to shake another part of him ;) *cough* …I’m sorry…..I will be in the corner of shame.
When I look at my dash I am sometimes not sure if we’re all just insanely cute and adorable for being so devoted and investing so much love in an actor none of us will ever really know or if I should just feel sorry for us, because for the exact same reasons…?
During the last two days at work, I convinced a colleague to watch Whatever We Do and had a discussion with him about the work of Robert Downey Sr, told him about the HTC ads and the Putney Swope homage. I also had another, female colleague notice my Sherlock Holmes wallpaper and tell me that she needs to watch it as it looked very good (looking at the pic of Robert on my screen). And yet another colleague saw my google alerts and his only comment was “why am I not surprised”.
Robert Downey Sr. (via yoghurtdowneyjr)
So, in other words, he’s got a problem with his son being more famous and successful than him? Ouch…