Saturday, May 10, 2008

RATE IT! Robert Downey Jr.

I know that I'm not the only one pleased to see the triumphant return of actor, Robert Downey Jr. While growing up, Robert always seemed to be around. He didn't quite qualify for membership in the Brat Pack of the 1980s but he was always on the peripheral. He dated and shacked up with Sarah Jessica Parker, made a slate of films including his Academy Award-nominated turn in "Chaplin" as well as fan favourites such as "Only You" and "Air America." Despite the teasing of a certain older sister, I always thought he was pretty cool. Talented, attractive...not adverse to making a fool of himself on film - what wasn't there to like?

While Robert was racking up role after role, he also began to accumulate many a rumour about drug abuse and erratic behaviours. Hollywood was a buzz about his exploits and eventually, the gossips were proved true. Robert was charged for multiple drug offences and was even caught driving through Hollywood starkers! Think Britney and Paris were blazing a trail tottering around Tinsel Town sans panties? Heck, Robert did that ages ago! 

A career that began as a talented child actor had seemingly shattered as he was sent to prison several times over, and ordered to partake in extensive rehab. Once released and finally clean, Robert carried on with his acting but never quite reached the same level of roles or popularity that he once enjoyed. Woody Allen and other movie makers encountered difficulty getting insurance coverage for the once-troublesome Downey, thus roles that he would have gotten easily before all his personal drama, went to other actors. 

A few years later, Robert Downey Jr.'s fortunes have begun to change. Two weeks ago, Marvel Comic's superhero "Iron Man" hit theatre screens in North America, and movie goers took notice -- BIG the tune of $141 million dollars to date. Director Jon Favreau -- who will always be in my good books for the job he did on 'Elf' with Will Ferrell -- took a major gamble and cast Downey Jr. in the lead role. For any actor who's misadventures and jail sentences are more well-known that his acting credits and accolades, it's a rewarding payback. Robert has paid his dues and then some. In today's celeb culture, where falling 'stars' (and I use the term 'stars' lightly for Paris, Lindsay Lohan and their ilk) are sent to rehab or prison for a shorter spell than a commercial break, Robert has exuded class accepting his punishment & learning from it. His younger, less accomplished counterparts should take heed from his tale - but I'm not holding my breath!

Final verdict: Hurrah! Robert's back and better than ever!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved Robert Downey Jr as Larry on Ally McBeal! Larry and Ally were going to get married, and then he went and got arrested in real life and so he had to be written out :-( Boo!

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