Robert Downey Jr.’s Wife, Susan Downey, Wasn’t Attracted to the ‘Iron Man’ Star When They First Met

Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, Susan Downey, are a rarity in Hollywood. They’ve managed to maintain their marriage while also having a successful working relationship. The Iron Man actor and his wife are the co-founders of the production company, Team Downey. While they’re certainly unique by Hollywood standards, it wasn’t love at first sight for the happy couple.

They met on the set of ‘Gothika’

Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr. attend the premiere of 'Avengers Endgame' in 2019
Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr. attend the premiere of Avengers: Endgame | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

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There weren’t immediate sparks between Downey Jr. and his wife of 15 years, Susan. The couple met on the set of the 2004 thriller, Gothika, which Downey Jr. starred in alongside Halle Berry. The film had been Susan’s (then Susan Nicole Levin) first solo gig as a producer and at the time she didn’t want to get involved with any of the cast members.

Susan Downey initially thought of Robert Downey Jr. as ‘strange’ 

During a 2009 interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Susan recalled what she thought of her future husband when they first met. When asked if there’d been an immediate attraction between her and Downey Jr., Susan replied, “Not even a little bit.” How did the actor come off to her? “The main thing I remember about meeting him was thinking how strange he was,” she said. 

Susan continued, saying she didn’t even consider Downey Jr. a romantic possibility. “I thought he was a brilliant actor, but it didn’t go beyond that,” she said before adding, “I saw him more like a professor or someone’s older brother.” 

During a 2014 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Downey Jr. and Susan reflected on the early days of their relationship with the producer recalling the first run-in she had with her future husband. 

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While prepping for Gothika, Susan had lunch with Downey Jr., Berry, and the film’s director. What she remembers from that initial encounter is how different the actor had been. 

“Everybody else ordered Japanese, but Robert told us how oatmeal was the ‘superfood.’ He brought his own packets of oatmeal to have at lunch,” she said. “And he had this box of various herbs and stuff. And then he started doing these yoga moves. I mean, he was interesting but weird.”

She eventually thought of Robert Downey Jr. as ‘really cute’

After working with him for a few weeks, Susan’s feelings toward Downey Jr. shifted. On the set of Gothika, a small group of people would hit the gym after filming. Among them had been Downey Jr. and Susan. It was there that the actor asked Susan out on a date. 

“One day, when we were on the treadmills, Robert goes, ‘Levin, you wanna go to dinner?’ and I said, ‘Eh, I’ll grab something to eat,’ so we agreed to go change and meet in the lobby,” Susan recalled. “And as he walked down the stairs toward me, I remember looking up at him and suddenly thinking, ‘He’s really cute.’”

From then on, the romance between Susan and Downey Jr. moved pretty quickly. By 2005 they were married and today they share have two children together; Avri Roel, 5, and Exton Elias, 8. Downey Jr. also has a son, Indio Falconer Downey, 26, from a previous marriage.

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