Top 10 Awesome Robert Downey Jr. Moments
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Jarett Burke
Who doesn't love Robert Downey Jr.? This actor has been playing Iron Man for the past decade, but we also can't get enough of his moments OUTSIDE of the MCU! We're looking at most memorable Robert Downey Jr. moments, from his Comic Con appearances, to his hilarious interviews on Fallon and Ellen. Join WatchMojo as we count down the most funny and heartwarming Robert Downey Jr. moments.
Script written by Jarett Burke
Top 10 Robert Downey Jr. Pop Culture Moments
He’s the Iron Man with a heart of gold! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Robert Downey Jr. Pop Culture Moments.
For this list, we’re looking at our favorite Downey Jr. moments from broader pop culture outside of film and television.
#10: When He Attends Comic Con
It’s a given that Downey Jr. is a big deal at Comic Con, seeing as how 2008’s “Iron Man” pretty much sparked the current MCU frenzy. He could just walk in, not say a word, and still be treated like a King, but that’s not his style. RDJ shows up with all the chic and pizzaz of Tony Stark himself. Take the “Iron Man 3” presser in 2012, when he danced through the crowd, or his appearance for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in 2014 when he threw roses out to the audience to express his admiration for fans.
#9: When He Drew Iron Man for Charity
Acting isn’t Downey Jr’s only art. He’s also a musician, has a knack for graphic design, and fancies himself pretty handy with a pencil. In fact, during a sit down with the Avengers cast on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” RDJ was challenged to draw a picture of Iron Man during the commercial break that would be donated to charity; and, a few short seconds later, he shocked the audience by revealing a stunning portrait of the Armored Avenger. OK, it turns out he pulled one over on us and drew a stick figure. But honestly, with this Renaissance man, we probably would have believed it!
#8: When He Recorded a Jazz Album
Downey has sung on several film soundtracks, and in 2004, released his own jazz and folk album titled “The Futurist”. It came after a turbulent time in his life, during which he couldn’t get hired in Hollywood because of his past behavior, leading to a brief stint on the TV series “Ally McBeal.” Back doing movies full-time in 2003, RDJ was also busy writing songs for this album and creating the cover art. While critics weren’t necessarily blown away by the album, it did manage to crack the Billboard Top 200 at #121 and sell over 16,000 copies in its first week.
#7: When He Stomped on an Extra’s Hand
During a press stop on “The Graham Norton Show” for “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” in 2011, Jude Law provided insight on what it was like working with Downey. Apparently, RDJ thought it would be hilarious to stomp on a wax dummy’s hand . . . which turned out to belong to an extra. We always imagined him as a jokester on set, what with his gleeful sense of humor and reputation for improvising lines. Law’s enthusiastic re-creation of the event and raucous laughter show just how much fun he had working with RDJ while shooting the movie. Hopefully the extra thought it was worth it . . .
#6: When He Played Epic or Fail with Ellen
In Ellen’s “Epic or Fail” segment, Ellen, guests, and audience members have to guess how video clips will end: in spectacular failure or epic success. What’s great about this moment is that both Downey Jr. and Ellen have solid comedic timing, and can see a fail coming from miles away . . . although predictably, Downey likes to be contrary whenever possible. While it takes them a few attempts to get on the same page, they correctly predict that the last two clips will end in disaster - both wearing the same cringeworthy expressions as they’re proven right.
#5: When He Gave Fallon a Master Class in Acting
To be a world class actor, one has to be a master of one’s emotions, or as RDJ calls himself, an “emotional chameleon.” So when Jimmy Fallon broke into “The Tonight Show’s” long-running “Emotional Interview” bit with RDJ, we knew we were in for a show. As expected, Jimmy cracks up with laughter while Downey Jr. plays it straight. Watching RDJ flawlessly continue the interview as he switches from one emotion to the next is highly entertaining, but so too is the fact that he brings it all back to Jimmy forgetting his birthday!
#4: His Instagram Account
With 37 million followers, RDJ had a massive following on Instagram, and he’s quite a frequent poster. A video post of himself posing with the Avengers cast (and stroking Chris Evans’ beard to boot) has over three million likes. The rest of the content ranges from promotional to completely random, but always entertaining. There’s backstage footage of himself (along with the entire Avengers cast) singing Happy Birthday to the first “Iron Man” film; shots of himself and his wife on their travels across the globe; and of course there’s RDJ hugging a tree… because… well, why not hug a tree?
#3: When He Thanked His Wife at the Golden Globes
When Downey Jr. took home the Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe for his performance as Sherlock Holmes in Guy Richie’s 2009 film of the same name, one of the first things he did was thank his supportive wife … for thinking Matt Damon was going to win! You know it’s love when you can be THAT honest with your significant other. Downey’s sarcastic speech was a refreshing change, as he insisted he was NOT going to thank ANYONE. But the gratitude and love shone through, especially when he credited his wife for helping him pull his life together.
#2: When He Appeared in Elton John’s Music Video
Just as Elton John sings in “I Want Love”, Downey has seen a lot of traffic. His substance abuse problems led to prison time in the nineties and noughties, but after rehab in 2001, he was ready for his comeback. His appearance in the music video for Elton John’s “I Want Love” marks the rejuvenating point in his career. The understated but sincere performance he delivers makes the video, and led to his return to mainstream film roles. Given where he stands today career-wise, we think he’s done pretty well for himself!
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
When He Posted a Video of Himself Getting an Avengers Tattoo
When He Broke Into Song
When He Discussed His 50th Birthday Party
#1: When He Uses His Powers for Good
After Downey Jr. faced his demons and made one of the biggest career comebacks in film history, he didn’t forget what it’s like to be someone going through hard times. In the years since, he’s used his fame and fortune to support a wide range of charities. In 2015, he appeared in character as Tony Stark to present a young boy who was missing an arm with a bionic, Iron Man-themed prosthetic. He’s also become a regular with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, where he’s twice sworn in critically ill children as honorary Avengers. And in 2016, he and his wife started their own charity, called Random Act Funding, which raises money for OTHER nonprofits.