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Robert Downey Jr. Reveals Surprising Choices for His Most Impactful Films

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Robert Downey Jr.

In today’s Hollywood, Robert Downey Jr. has undoubtedly established himself as one of the most cherished and recognizable actors. However, it’s important to remember that this wasn’t always the case. Before the era of The Avengers and Iron Man, Downey Jr.’s path was not always smooth. Consequently, the movies he considers pivotal to his career might catch you off guard. During an interview with The New York Times, the renowned star identified two unexpected titles as the most significant: 2006’s The Shaggy Dog and the 2020 disappointment Dolittle.

In The Shaggy Dog, Downey Jr. portrayed a sinister doctor responsible for transforming Tim Allen’s character into the eponymous Bearded Collie. Despite receiving predominantly negative reviews and currently holding a meager 26% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the film played a crucial role in reviving Downey Jr.’s career. He emphasized that “the film that got Disney saying they would insure me” was indeed The Shaggy Dog. While Downey Jr. has since become inseparable from his portrayal of Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, initially his casting was seen as a risky move. In April 1996, the actor faced arrest for the possession of heroin, cocaine, and an unloaded gun. The Shaggy Dog marked his comeback.

Dolittle, another box-office disappointment for Downey Jr., taught him a valuable lesson. Reflecting on the experience, he stated, “I finished the Marvel contract and then hastily went into what had all the promise of being another big, fun, well-executed potential franchise in Dolittle.” He admitted having reservations and highlighted the importance of focusing on the execution rather than solely relying on the deal’s allure. However, at that time, Downey Jr. felt invincible, having earned his reputation as the guru of genre movies.

Image Via Warner Bros.


Dolittle: A Valuable Lesson for Downey Jr.

Considering it the “second most important film” of his career, Downey Jr. described Dolittle as a “two-and-a-half-year wound of squandered opportunity.” Despite its colossal budget of $175 million, the family-oriented blockbuster floundered upon its release in January 2020, receiving some of the harshest reviews in the star’s career. Nevertheless, Downey Jr. acknowledged that the film forced him to reassess his priorities during the post-MCU phase of his career. Dolittle, produced by Downey Jr. and his wife Susan Downey under Team Downey Productions, had a significant impact on his spouse as well. He revealed, “the stress it put on my missus as she rolled her sleeves up to her armpits to make it even serviceable enough to bring to market was shocking.” This experience prompted them to reevaluate their closest business advisors and led to a reset of priorities.

Later this month, Downey Jr. will grace the silver screen once again in Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated film, Oppenheimer. Distributed by Universal Pictures, the film is set to premiere on July 21. Watch the trailer below:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Robert Downey Jr. , most important movies, surprising titles

What movies did Robert Downey Jr. consider most important to his career?

Robert Downey Jr. named two surprising titles as his most important movies: “The Shaggy Dog” (2006) and “Dolittle” (2020). Despite receiving negative reviews, these films played crucial roles in reviving his career and teaching him valuable lessons.

Why did Robert Downey Jr. consider “The Shaggy Dog” important?

“The Shaggy Dog” was significant for Robert Downey Jr. because it helped resuscitate his career. The film, despite its negative reception, got Disney interested in insuring him, paving the way for future opportunities and eventual success as Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What lessons did Robert Downey Jr. learn from “Dolittle”?

“Dolittle” was a box-office flop for Robert Downey Jr., but it taught him an invaluable lesson. He realized the importance of prioritizing execution over the allure of potential franchises. The experience prompted him to reevaluate his career choices and make changes in his business advisors.

How did “Dolittle” impact Robert Downey Jr.’s post-MCU career?

According to Downey Jr., “Dolittle” was the second most important film of his career, albeit for negative reasons. The disappointment and squandered opportunity of the movie forced him to reassess his priorities. It led to a reset in his career focus and a reevaluation of his closest business advisors.

When will Robert Downey Jr. return to theaters?

Robert Downey Jr. will appear in Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated film, “Oppenheimer,” set to open on July 21 via Universal Pictures.

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