What exactly does one even say about Robert Downey Jr.? There’s just a level of sexiness about him that’s hard to put into words, especially given the scope of his talent. He’s a man that’s equal parts ego and elegance. It’s almost as if he sighs and walks into his own skin after being part of the temperamental nature of twilight.
Truth be told, I can’t precisely remember the first time I saw RDJ in a film, but I do know I was relatively young — seven or eight, maybe. What I saw… I think it frightened me the first time. Not because he was doing anything particularly horrible or scary. But it was a way of acting that I don’t think my young mind could conceptualise. It was as if he didn’t have any fear, didn’t have anything in him that told him to hold back. Of course, after that I didn’t hear much from him except in the musings of Daddums, who admittedly calls Downey Jr. one of his favourite actors.
His past demons notwithstanding, there was something about the man’s charisma that captured me even at eight. Now older, I realise that it must have been a construct of dealing with the heavy crown left by his father and his desire to push beyond the scope of what people had come to expect of him. Of course, when he got his second wind as an actor, all bets were off. I then came in contact with his role in In Dreams. And that image of him will forever be imprinted in my mind as one of the most terrifying performances from any human being. It was that freedom again, that boundless bit of perfection that he opened up and gave to the world.
But even a glimpse into who he was at that time, very few people were prepared for the emotional transformation he went through. Indeed, he’s quite a rare breed — a lost child who finds the source of his meaning and desire without becoming a victim to his own circumstances. At one point it seemed as if he was trying to live out a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I also think a bigger part of him lives to defy expectation, to cut out the drudgery of cliché and bring something interesting to the conversation.
Thus his work in the new millennium. The first film I saw was A Scanner Darkly. His performance hearkened back to the surreal grandeur of his previous work, but without the restraints of a life filled with demons. It was pure, inspired .
Of course that all pales in comparison to his work as the arrogant billionaire philanderer Tony Stark in Iron Man . He explores the role with more acuity in The Avengers. At this point I just can’t take my eyes off him. His turn as the idiosyncratic inventor is so stunning, so incredibly sexy that he went from simply a brilliant actor, to a completely unbridled man of intent.
But there’s very little that could make me melt into the floor as his turn in the role of Sherlock Holmes. Everything about his portrayal exudes bravado, easy sensuality. He doesn’t attempt to be cocky, he is simply fully aware of his brilliance. A man who knows he’s sexy and still manages to produce work he can brag about is just… *shudder*
Give me a sharp mind and even sharper tongue over simple good looks any day of the week. Of course, it helps that Robert Downey Jr. has those in spades as well.