Entertainment Movies Robert Downey Jr. on Why He Discussed Addiction in Doc About His Dad: 'Incomplete If You Don't' "I also hate puff pieces," Robert Downey Jr. said of the decision to talk about his and his father Robert Downey Sr.'s relationship with drugs in the new documentary Sr. By Tommy McArdle Tommy McArdle Twitter Tommy McArdle is a digital news writer at PEOPLE covering stories across all of the brand's verticals. Prior to joining PEOPLE, Tommy covered the entertainment industry at Looper and sports at The Sporting News and Boston.com. He graduated from Emerson College in 2019. People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 13, 2022 11:25 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Phillip Faraone/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Robert Downey Jr. is explaining why he broached the subject of addiction in his new documentary about his relationship with his late father. "It's incomplete if you don't," Downey Jr., 57, said Sunday at a screening of Netflix's Sr. at Los Angeles' DGA Theater Complex organized by The Hollywood Reporter. "I also hate puff pieces. There's so many examples of it right now where everyone's trying to get their narrative out there," the actor and producer added. "I won't give the example but there's just so much of it that you kind of go, that just reeks of bulls---." During the Q&A, Downey Jr.'s wife and producing partner Susan Downey also spoke about her husband and late father-in-law's decisions to get sober. "If anybody has ever dealt with someone with addiction, you know it has nothing to do with someone else," Susan said when asked about the coincidence that both men started living sober after getting into relationships, according to THR. Robert Downey Jr. and Late Dad Get Candid About Becoming 'Stuck' in 'Drug-Culture Life' in Sr. Doc "They have to be ready," she said Sunday. "If you can be a small part of creating an alternative world for them that says, 'Hey, I'm here. If you are clean, great.' But there's no credit I will ever take other than basically saying, 'Here's what I need to have happen,' or more importantly, 'What can't be happening.' But it's entirely that person." Phillip Faraone/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Downey Jr. noted that he originally did not consider whether the new documentary, which was named the year's best by the National Board of Review, would even release when he first started filming, according to THR. "I didn't even know if this thing was going to come out so I wasn't thinking about it the way you would where you're like, well you'd better make sure that stupid f------ beanie you're wearing looks right on your [head]," he told the outlet. "I wasn't thinking about any of this." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. At one point in the film, Downey Jr. has a phone call with his dad where they discuss their shared difficult past. (Downey Sr. had Parkinson's disease and died in July 2021 at 85.) "You know, I think we would be remiss to not discuss its effect on me," he told his father, who said, "Boy, I could sure love to miss that discussion." All About Robert Downey Jr.'s Late Dad, Robert Downey Sr. Stephen Lovekin/Getty In the documentary, Downey Jr. recalled becoming addicted around the time he made the 1987 film Less Than Zero. "It was just a wild era," he said. "That whole world, it gets tied into creativity. We were all altering our consciousness with substances. I was just kinda playing a game of just wanting to self-soothe or just stay loaded rather than deal with the fact that things had gone off the tracks a little bit." "Honestly, more than anything, I look back and go, 'It's shocking that a single movie came out finished,' " he added, later referencing the "drug-culture life that we all got stuck in." Sr. is now streaming on Netflix. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.