‘Avengers: Endgame’: Is Robert Downey Jr. the Hardest-Working Avenger?

Robert Downey, Jr. has probably been misunderstood for a long time as a person and actor, especially during his dark days of incarceration due to drug abuse. Thankfully, those days are long behind him, including rebuilding his acting career and bringing a reliable work ethic.

Downey probably learned enough lessons during his bleakest moments to never go back to them again. Considering he’s built a massive $300 million in recent years (mostly thanks to his Marvel films), he likely won’t go back to his old ways.

Nevertheless, rumors continue to brew about Downey being demanding. In truth, this isn’t the case when you see evidence of how hard he works to create a stellar performance.

The real reason Robert Downey, Jr. was a diva toward Disney

You’ve likely seen a few articles in recent years insinuating Downey is a typical problematic actor. In truth, he’s become one of the most affable of actors, which says a lot considering he could be incorrigible with his power.

Downey unleashed his “diva” side for a good reason: Pay inequality.

Some of you may remember when he went public about many of his fellow cast members getting paid far less than him for The Avengers. Disney wasn’t happy with Downey for complaining about this to the public at large. Even so, he became a hero by his peers for standing up for their due worth.

While this was seven years ago, Downey still has the same reputation for Avengers: Endgame, according to the film’s co-director.

Joe Russo’s comment about Robert Downey, Jr.

It’s rare to have two directors on a film, but Avengers: Endgame couldn’t pass up the Russo Brothers again. Joe Russo is “co-director” with his brother, Anthony.

The brothers don’t talk about Downey publicly very often. A recent interview with Joe Russo, though, has him calling RD, Jr. the hardest working actor in the business. At the same time, he says any notion Downey is a diva is just to set a persona for himself.

Later in the interview, Russo also says Downey is nothing like Tony Stark, outside of his fans seeming to think so. Russo says Downey just likes to set faux personas for himself as a form of self-marketing. He’s reportedly warm, genuine, and generous once you get to know him privately.

Can Downey keep this reputation while transitioning back to acting in other films outside of Marvel?

Robert Downey, Jr. should bring his strong work ethic back to indie films

Rumors are already percolating that Downey will soon back out of more Marvel movies playing Tony Stark/Iron Man. After ten years in the role, he’s been away too long from the more human dramas he was known for beforehand.

We can make a good argument he should return to these films before too much time has passed. With his hard-working sensibility, he can ultimately promote more indie human dramas and mentor newer actors who care about doing these for the sake of art.

The problem, of course, is that superhero movies are so overwhelmingly popular, Downey may have no choice but to stay within the MCU, at some capacity, for life. Let’s hope he can balance it with smaller films, so he can remind us how great of an actor he is and give himself the chance to win awards again.

If he can balance both, Robert Downey, Jr. truly will be the hardest-working actor

Outside of Marvel’s Black Panther being up for Best Picture at the Oscars this year, it’s not likely Downey will ever contend for an Oscar playing Tony Stark. The last time Downey was nominated for an Oscar was for Tropic Thunder a decade ago, making it long overdue for him to regroup. We have no doubt Downey can have it all — a flourishing mainstream Marvel career and a critically-acclaimed body of work — if that’s what he wishes.