Robert Downey Jr. Looks Back on Playing Iron Man: I'm Not Defined by 'What I Did' with Marvel

Robert Downey Jr. is looking ahead to his career after leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe behind

Robert Downey Jr. might’ve been the perfect fit to play Tony Stark, but that doesn’t mean he takes the superhero home.

In a new interview with the Off Camera Show, Downey Jr., 54, opened up about how playing the same character for so long started taking a toll on his creativity.

“I had an incredible ten-year run that was creatively satisfying. It was very, very, very hard work and I dug very deep, but I have not been forced to explore the new frontier of what is my creative and personal life after this,” Downey Jr. said about his decade with Marvel.

“First thing you learn in theater arts: Aesthetic distance. I am not this play I’m doing,” he continued. “I’m not a character in The Fantasticks. I’m not Will from Oklahoma. Aesthetic distance. It’s job one. I’m not my work. I’m not what I did with that studio. I’m not that period of time that I spent playing this character. And it sucks because the kid in all of us wants to be like, ‘No! It’s always gonna be summer camp and we’re all holding hands and singing kumbaya. Isn’t it?’ It’s like, ‘no! Snap out of it.’ ”

Iron Man - 2008

Though Downey Jr. is ready to move on from Iron Man, it’s certainly helped him become one of the highest paid actors.

Downey Jr., who made his 9th appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Avengers: Endgame, has made $75 million now that the movie has found blockbuster success at the office, according to a report from Forbes. The Iron Man actor had a salary of $20 million up front, while his 8% in back-end points once the movie hit theaters brought him an additional $55 million, per the outlet.

The actor, who has starred as Iron Man since the release of his 2008 film, also earned $5 million for 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for three days of work, according to The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year.

Avengers: Endgame shattered box office records, starting with its astronomical $1.2 billion opening weekend worldwide. It’s gone on to earn over $2.7 billion at the box office.

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