Robert Downey Jr. defends wearing blackface in Tropic Thunder

Robert Downey Jr. accepted his controversial role in Tropic Thunder to call out the “insane self-involved hypocrisy” of fellow actors.Ben Stiller’s 2008 satirical comedy follows a group of actors who are making a Vietnam War movie, and the Iron Man sta…

Robert Downey Jr. accepted his controversial role in Tropic Thunder to call out the “insane self-involved hypocrisy” of fellow actors.

Ben Stiller’s 2008 satirical comedy follows a group of actors who are making a Vietnam War movie, and the Iron Man star wore blackface to play Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus, who underwent “pigmentation alteration” surgery to play a fictional African-American soldier.

It caused an outcry when it was released more than 10 years ago, and in a recent interview on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Robert confessed he was originally concerned about accepting the role.

“When Ben called and said, ‘Hey I’m doing this thing’ – you know I think Sean Penn had passed on it or something. Possibly wisely. And I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that and I’ll do that after Iron Man.’ Then I started thinking, ‘This is a terrible idea, wait a minute,'” he explained.

He told host Joe that he listened to his heart, and while he was looking forward to “being black” for a summer, he wanted to use the role of Kirk Lazarus to call out “self-involved” actors.

“The other thing is, I get to hold up to nature the insane self-involved hypocrisy of artists and what they think they’re allowed to do on occasion, just my opinion,” he shared.

However, the 54-year-old insisted he understood those who took issue with the controversial character.

“Ninety per cent of my black friends were like, ‘Dude, that was great’… I can’t disagree with (the other 10 per cent), but I know where my heart lies,” he added. “I think that it’s never an excuse to do something that’s out of place and out of its time, but to me it was a blasting cap on (the issue).

“Sometimes, you just gotta go, ‘Yeah I effed up.’ In my defence, Tropic Thunder is about how wrong (blackface) is, so I take exception.”

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Katherine Langford: ‘Cutting my scenes from Avengers: Endgame made sense’

Katherine Langford has no issue with her scenes in Avengers: Endgame ending up on the cutting room floor because she can still treasure the memory of working with Robert Downey Jr..The 13 Reasons Why star was recruited to portray Iron Man/Tony Stark’s …

Katherine Langford has no issue with her scenes in Avengers: Endgame ending up on the cutting room floor because she can still treasure the memory of working with Robert Downey Jr..

The 13 Reasons Why star was recruited to portray Iron Man/Tony Stark’s grown-up daughter Morgan in the 2019 movie, but when the film hit theatres in April, she was nowhere to be seen.

Opening up about being cut from the highest-grossing film of all time, the Australian actress said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that the decision made sense and doesn’t take away from her “amazing” experience on set.

“I’m such a huge fan of the Marvel films and the Russo brothers so when Marvel reached out to me to play Iron Man’s daughter that was such an honour,” she said. “Ultimately it didn’t make it into the film and creatively that makes sense and that’s totally fine. I was just content with having the memory in my head. To play with Robert Downey Jr on the last scene he was Iron Man, on the last day that he was Iron Man, that was just amazing… He was amazing, it’s the biggest franchise in the world and it was the biggest set I’d ever walked on to. He was just so cool and so elegant.”

The 23-year-old is thrilled that Disney bosses put their deleted scene on the Disney+ streaming service because fans demanded to see it.

“That’s what I was told, it was out because people wanted to see it,” Katherine added. “Which is just really cool.”

Avengers: Endgame director Joe and Anthony Russo previously explained that the scene, in which Tony and a now-teenage Morgan briefly reconnect in the Soul World after he dies, got cut because test audiences found it too confusing and “we didn’t feel an emotional association with the adult version of his daughter.”

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Kevin Feige wanted Iron Man’s death to be as powerful as Wolverine’s

Marvel boss Kevin Feige was determined to make Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame as powerful as Wolverine’s in Logan.  After 11 years playing Tony Stark / Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. made his final appearance in this year’s Endgame, in which the …

Marvel boss Kevin Feige was determined to make Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame as powerful as Wolverine’s in Logan.

  After 11 years playing Tony Stark / Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. made his final appearance in this year’s Endgame, in which the billionaire sacrifices himself to defeat the evil Thanos and his army. 

  During a live Q&A session with Empire magazine this week, Feige explained that he wanted Downey Jr.’s last outing as Iron Man to be as moving to audiences as Hugh Jackman’s final appearance in 2017’s Logan. 

  “We saw Logan like the audience did, in a theatre having nothing to do with the making of that film and went, ‘Oh my God, what an amazing ending for Hugh as this character,'” the film producer recalled. “And there are only a handful of examples where an actor so associated with a character can go out perfectly. That’s what we desperately wanted to give Robert, and that was what our focus was on.”

   Jackman holds the Guinness World Record for having the longest career as a live-action superhero. After playing Wolverine for 16 years and 228 days, he took his final bow in Logan, in which the character loses his regenerative powers and dies. 

  Feige also spoke about how his team came up with Stark’s death early on in the development process for Endgame and were “dedicated” to the storyline because they were determined to show fans that deaths do matter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

  “Around the time we started working on this film, there was some sense that deaths don’t matter in our movies – Nick Fury gets shot and died in Winter Soldier and comes back in the third act, which was awesome, but is not a death,” he said. “And people were clamouring for, not death necessarily, but stakes and real emotion. And I remember thinking, ‘Be careful what you wish for,’ as we started getting closer to this. But we never questioned it. All of the angst and all of the effort went into sticking the landing, to make it worthwhile.”

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Avengers: Endgame passes Avatar to become biggest film of all time

Avengers: Endgame has topped Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time.Marvel boss Kevin Feige made the news official at the studio’s Comic-Con panel in San Diego, California on Saturday, announcing the blockbuster would pass Avatar’s $2.7…

Avengers: Endgame has topped Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time.

Marvel boss Kevin Feige made the news official at the studio’s Comic-Con panel in San Diego, California on Saturday, announcing the blockbuster would pass Avatar’s $2.78 billion global box office mark over the weekend, ending the James Cameron-directed movie’s nine-year reign.

“Thanks to you, Avengers: Endgame is the biggest film of all-time,” Feige told fans in Comic-Con’s fabled Hall H.

While Avengers: Endgame co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo took to Twitter to share a similar sentiment.

“To the greatest fans in the universe, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you…,” they commented.

Avengers: Endgame, featuring an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Brie Larson, follows the surviving members of the Avengers and their allies as they attempt to reverse the damage caused by Thanos, as played by Josh Brolin, in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.

The blockbuster has passed Avatar’s record in just 13 weeks, and in a statement, Alan Horn, co-chairman and chief creative officer of Marvel’s parent company, The Walt Disney Studios, praised the cast and crew for their achievements.

“A huge congratulations to the Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios teams, and thank you to the fans around the world who lifted Avengers: Endgame to these historic heights,” he commented. “Of course, even with the passage of a decade, the impact of James Cameron’s Avatar remains as powerful as ever, and the astonishing achievements of both of these films are ongoing proof of the power of movies to move people and bring them together in a shared experience. The talented filmmakers behind these worlds have much more in store, and we look forward to the future of both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and (Avatar’s setting) Pandora.”

Bosses at Disney are also celebrating another record-breaking weekend in North America, as The Lion King has roared to the top of the box office to become the biggest July opening of all time.

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Robert Downey Jr. ready to move on from Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. is looking forward to exploring new opportunities now he’s finished playing Iron Man. The 54-year-old first portrayed billionaire Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man and reprised the role a number of times over the next 11 years, with him …

Robert Downey Jr. is looking forward to exploring new opportunities now he’s finished playing Iron Man.

The 54-year-old first portrayed billionaire Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man and reprised the role a number of times over the next 11 years, with him playing no other character between 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and this year’s Avengers: Endgame, during which Tony Stark sacrifices himself to defeat the evil Thanos and his army.

In an interview with Off Camera with Sam Jones, Downey Jr. reflected on the next phase of his career and said he was looking forward to doing something different.

“I had an incredible 10-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 said. “By creating and associating and synergising 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… owners start looking like their pets… occasionally you would pull back from it and go, ‘Let me stop, let me get off the teat of this archetype and let me see where I stand.’ And you can feel really buffeted, you can get really spun out by it.”

The actor explained that he prepared for this transition and made sure his career didn’t “fall apart” post-Endgame, and confessed that having such a long-running relationship with the Marvel is “the closest I will ever come to being a trust fund kid,” because “there’s always a dependency on something that feels like a sure thing.”

Downey Jr. then expressed the importance of maintaining an “aesthetic distance” between himself from his work.

“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,” the star insisted. “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.'”

Downey Jr. has already filmed The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle and Jamie Foxx’s comedy All-Star Weekend and is set to reprise his role of detective Sherlock Holmes for a third instalment in the franchise.

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Dwayne Johnson was urged to ‘drop some weight’ at start of career

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was urged to “drop some weight” when he first arrived in Hollywood.The wrestler-turned-actor picked up the Generation Award during the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Saturday night, which aired in the U.S. on Monday, and he gave a h…

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was urged to “drop some weight” when he first arrived in Hollywood.

The wrestler-turned-actor picked up the Generation Award during the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Saturday night, which aired in the U.S. on Monday, and he gave a heartfelt acceptance speech, in which he looked back at his humble beginnings.

“When I first got to Hollywood – Hollywood, they didn’t know what the hell to do with me. I was this half-black, half-Samoan, six-foot-four, 275-pound pro wrestler,” he said after taking the stage at the Barker Hanger in Los Angeles. “You know, I was told at that time, ‘You’ve got to be a certain way. You’ve got to drop some weight… You’ve got to stop working out.’ Stop doing the things that I love. You’ve got to stop calling yourself The Rock – what? And for years, I actually bought into it.”

The 47-year-old continued, “I was miserable doing that, so I made a choice. And the choice was, I wasn’t going to conform to Hollywood, Hollywood was going to conform to me. So, Hollywood conformed to me, and here I am with all of you getting the Generation Award… It’s important that you are your most authentic self. I’m a walking example of that.”

The Fast & Furious star concluded with a heartfelt message to fans, encouraging them to be true to themselves.

“There’s another side to being your authentic self, your true self, and that’s the side that the magic is on. That’s the side that’s gold. While yes, it’s important to be yourself, you’ve got to recognise the joy and responsibility of bringing everybody with you,” he added. “We bring everybody with us, and you do that by being kind, by being compassionate, by being inclusive, and straight-up being good to people, because that matters.”

Previous winners of the prize, which celebrates “beloved actors whose diverse contributions to both film and television have turned them into household names in the industry,” include Robert Downey Jr., Mark Wahlberg, Sandra Bullock, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Tom Cruise, and Jim Carrey.

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Don Cheadle had hour to decide if he wanted Terrence Howard’s Marvel role

Don Cheadle was given an hour to decide if he wanted to replace Terrence Howard in the Marvel franchise.Empire star Terrence was the original actor to play Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine, taking on the role opposite Robert Downey Jr. in 2…

Don Cheadle was given an hour to decide if he wanted to replace Terrence Howard in the Marvel franchise.

Empire star Terrence was the original actor to play Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine, taking on the role opposite Robert Downey Jr. in 2008’s Iron Man.

By the time Iron Man 2 came out two years later, Don had been cast as the superhero – a role he’s helmed right up until the latest movie, Avengers: Endgame.

Revealing Robert and producer Kevin Feige called him up to offer him the part during his daughter’s birthday party, saying he had an hour to decide, he told Variety and iHeart’s new film podcast The Big Ticket: “(They said) ‘You just gotta take a leap of faith’. But that’s, like, 10 years. That could be 12 years that we’re talking about. I said, ‘Well, I’m at my daughter’s birthday party.’ They said, ‘Oh, take two hours.'”

Coincidentally, the Oscar nominee bumped into Terrence the very next day.

“We never had any beef,” Don said of his Crash co-star.

Terrence left the Marvel Cinematic Universe on bad terms, and has subsequently blamed Robert for pushing him out of the lucrative franchise.

During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live in 2013, he told host Andy Cohen that his exit was all down to a money dispute.

“It turns out that the person I helped become Iron Man… when it was time to re-up for the second one, (he) took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out,” he stated.

“We did a three-picture deal, so that means that you did the deal ahead of time. It was going to be a certain amount for the first one, a certain amount for the second one, a certain amount for the third. They came to me with the second and said, ‘Look, we will pay you one-eighth of what we contractually had for you, because we think the second one will be successful with or without you.’ And I called my friend – that I helped get the first job – and he didn’t call me back for three months.”

Later in 2015, Terrence reiterated the story, pointing out how much money he’s lost out on as a consequence of being axed from the Iron Man movies.

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Mark Ruffalo: ‘Playing Hulk has been the trip of a lifetime’

Mark Ruffalo bid an emotional farewell to his Avengers alter ego at the world premiere of final flick Avengers: Endgame in Los Angeles.Mark was joined on stage by the majority of his A-list co-stars on Monday night (22Apr19) at the LA Convention Center…

Mark Ruffalo bid an emotional farewell to his Avengers alter ego at the world premiere of final flick Avengers: Endgame in Los Angeles.

Mark was joined on stage by the majority of his A-list co-stars on Monday night (22Apr19) at the LA Convention Center, including Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth.

Talking after the credits rolled, Ruffalo, who has played The Hulk since 2012’s Avengers, told the audience how important the last seven years have been for him.

“It’s been an amazing ride and so moving, I love all of you guys so much. It’s been the trip of a lifetime, and what you did up there tonight was so beautiful. My brother and sister Avengers, I love you so much,” he gushed, according to Variety.

Captain America actor Evans echoed his sentiments, stating: “I have a lot of my friends and family here tonight, and a lot of them are right up here. We have this bond that transcends what we do for a living… I cried like six times (tonight).”

Notable absences from the star-studded premiere were British stars Tom Holland and Tom Hiddleston, who play Spider-Man and Loki receptively, who both had work commitments elsewhere; Holland is filming new film Chaos Walking in Atlanta, while Hiddleston is treading the boards in his native London in play Betrayal.

However, fans were excited by the presence of Natalie Portman, and have speculated she’s making her return as genius scientist Jane Foster, after last being seen in Thor: The Dark World in 2013.

Avengers: Endgame hits cinemas around the world from Wednesday.

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Chris Hemsworth: ‘There’s more of me in Thor now than ever’

Chris Hemsworth has been playing Thor for so long that he’s gradually been able to bring more of his personality to the Marvel character.The Australian actor first played the Asgardian superhero in 2011’s Thor and has reprised the role multiple times, …

Chris Hemsworth has been playing Thor for so long that he’s gradually been able to bring more of his personality to the Marvel character.

The Australian actor first played the Asgardian superhero in 2011’s Thor and has reprised the role multiple times, most recently in Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War and the upcoming Avengers: Endgame, which could be his last outing.

During a group interview with Entertainment Weekly, Chris admitted that he’s played Thor so many times the lines have blurred between him and the hammer-wielding figure.

“There was a much clearer (sense of) who the character was the first time I played it, and then…it slowly just became me screwing around and having fun,” he explained. “There’s more of me in the character now than ever. It’s the most honest place you can operate from as an actor.”

He added that because the cast has become so close over the years that friendships onscreen are similar to the ones in real life, such as the bond between Iron Man’s Robert Downey Jr. and Captain America’s Chris Evans.

“Knowing everybody, I feel like the personal relationships start to echo through,” the 35-year-old continued. “What you see, the authenticity of Iron Man and Captain America when we’re onscreen, there is a real friendship with Chris and Robert. Then it starts to just come through whether we like it or not.”

The Captain America actor, who also made his MCU debut in 2011, said that it’s impossible not to take on part of the character after playing it so many times, but it has got the stage now where it’s like reuniting with a friend.

“The same way that these are all friends, the character becomes a friend too. You’re visiting an old friend,” he gushed.

Avengers: Endgame hits cinemas later this month (Apr19).

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Avengers: Endgame directors plead for fans’ help after footage leaks online

Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo are urging fans who catch early screenings to keep spoilers under wraps.The filmmaking brothers are gearing up to release the feature, based on the superhero team depicted in Marvel Comics, around the w…

Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo are urging fans who catch early screenings to keep spoilers under wraps.

The filmmaking brothers are gearing up to release the feature, based on the superhero team depicted in Marvel Comics, around the world from 24 April (19).

However, after some footage from the movie leaked online earlier this week, Anthony and Joe have taken to Twitter to share a letter in which they beg viewers to keep details under wraps until the final instalment of the Avengers series officially opens in cinemas.

“To the greatest fans in the world,” they begin. “This is it. This is the end. The end of an unprecedented narrative mosaic spanning eleven years and eleven franchises.

“For all of you who have been on this journey with us since the very beginning, sharing every high and low with your family, your friends, your classmates, your co-workers. Investing so deeply in every character and storyline. Laughing. Cheering. Shedding tears. Giving so freely of your thoughts and emotions in spirited dialogue, theories, fan art, and fan fiction. Please know that the two of us, along with everyone involved in Endgame, have worked tirelessly for the last three years with the sole intention of delivering a surprising and emotionally powerful conclusion to the Infinity Saga.”

Anthony and Joe added that they are thankful that so many people have invested their time, hearts and souls into the stories, and sincerely wish that audiences won’t spoil the ending for others, “the same way you wouldn’t want it spoiled for you”.

To conclude their letter, the duo commented: “Remember, Thanos still demands your silence. As always, good luck and happy viewing… The Russo Brothers #DontSpoilTheEndgame.”

Avengers: Endgame is the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, and Scarlett Johansson.

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