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Who Plays The Role Of Iron Man

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Reading: Who Plays The Role Of Iron Man

To truly understand why Iron Man is perhaps one of the biggest and most important franchises of all time, it's important to start with the actor himself. Robert Downey Jr. is a Hollywood veteran and icon. He's been around the block, so to speak, but when he came on screen as Tony Stark, despite initial backlash from critics and fans alike, it was a sign to all of Hollywood that Marvel was on the verge of something incredible — and they couldn't wait for more.

The best actor of his generation. That's what people call him. Downey is an actor with the ability to play anything from a comedy to roles in dramas with devastating accuracy and precision. The guy knows how to pick a movie. Looking at his performances that aren't Iron Man, it's immediately apparent the level of skill he possesses as an actor. That being said, Tony Stark is definitively Robert Downey Jr.'s best role — here's why.

Related: Robert Downey Jr. Discusses His Alternative Final Avengers: Endgame Words

Tony Stark is Robert Downey Jr.

When you think of Robert Downey Jr., you're likely to think of his portrayal of Tony Stark. This is unsurprising: Downey has played the character in seven movies, and in fact, the actor and character are so closely linked that it's hard to disentangle them! In many ways, the two are alike. They both have a dark past and struggle with their inner demons, and they are both intelligent and passionate about technology. More than that, they both have a family who loves them. But most importantly, they're both incredibly talented people who can make you believe anything.

Iron Man Revitalized His Career

When Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark in the first Iron Man movie in 2008, many fans were skeptical that the actor could take on the role of a beloved superhero. After all, Downey's career had been plagued with legal issues and drug problems since he began acting in the 80s. Prior to kick-starting the MCU, he'd only recently begun to revitalize his career, with films like Wonder Boys and Zodiac under his belt. But when Iron Man hit theaters, it became clear that RDJ was the perfect person to play Tony Stark. Indeed, Downey made a late-career comeback with Iron Man.

His Performance as Tony Stark is Hilarious And Heart-Felt

When Iron Man came out in 2008, critics noted that he had the perfect blend of charm and charisma, and that his performance as Stark was hilarious and wise-cracking. Through the years, and across multiple MCU movies, from the Iron Man trilogy to the Avengers franchise, we've seen Tony Stark evolve from an eccentric weapons manufacturer to a hero who puts others first. We've seen him overcome his mistakes and develop meaningful relationships with the people around him, including Pepper Potts, James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Peter Parker (Tom Holland), and even Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), despite their differences. We've watched him discover what it means to be part of a team, learn how to compromise, and grow into a leader who is willing to make sacrifices for the sake of others.

Related: Here Are MCU Love Stories We Can't Live Without

Iron Man Was the Spark for The Avengers Franchise

As of 2019, Downey has appeared in multiple MCU movies: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk (which he has a cameo in), Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. In many ways, he was the spark that started it all. Downey Jr.’s casting as Stark in the original Iron Man was a major risk for Marvel Studios. Not just because Downey's past unfortunately made him seen as a liability by studio execs, but also because the superhero genre wasn't the box office draw it is today. Aside from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and the original X-Men films, superhero movies weren't taken all too seriously. Iron Man, being the first MCU movie at the time, was a gamble. A big part of its huge pay-off, of course, was Downey's performance as the titular character.

Iron Man is Now Part of Robert Downey Jr.'s Life

Tony Stark is the personification of Robert Downey Jr.'s life—a brilliant man who has descended into darkness and then risen again. Like Downey, Stark's genius takes him to places that are hard for most people to understand. It's no surprise, then, that Downey was so drawn to this role: it's one where he can dig into his own past and use it as a tool rather than letting it drag him down. Just as Tony emerged victorious throughout much of the Infinity Saga, so too has Downey.


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