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Robert Downey Jr. on Life After Marvel: ‘I’m Not What I Did With That Studio’

In a candid video interview, the "Iron Man" actor reflects on the next stage of his career and leaving Tony Stark behind.

Robert Downey Jr.

Off Camera/Screenshot

Robert Downey Jr. is ready to let go of Tony Stark. The charismatic star of “Iron Man” and “Avengers: Endgame” got candid about his future prospects after so many monumental successes, expressing gratitude for the decade of work but making clear that he is ready to move on. During an interview for photographer/director Sam Jones’ interview show “Off Camera,” Downey Jr. said he was looking forward to the challenge of separating himself from Tony Stark.

“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,” he began.

But ten years of playing the same character can take a toll on creativity.

“By creating and associating and synergizing with Tony Stark and the Marvel Universe..and being a good company man but also being a little off kilter and being creative and then getting into all these other partnerships, it was a time when it’s like…[how] owners start looking like their pets…occasionally you would pull back from it and go, ‘Let me stop, let me get off the teet of this archetype and let me see where I stand.’ And you can feel really buffeted, you can get really spun out by it.”

He then explained the importance of separating oneself from one’s work. Not bad advice for anyone, but especially so for someone whose job it is to become someone else.

“First thing you learn in theater arts: Aesthetic distance. I am not this play I’m doing. 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.'”

Watch the full interview below.

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