Robert Downey Jr.: The man in the Iron Man mask - Metro US

Robert Downey Jr.: The man in the Iron Man mask

Thanks to Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland, which grounded flights around Europe, Robert Downey Jr. finds himself in California to promote Iron Man 2 instead of London, where the movie’s junket was supposed to take place.

But the actor refuses to feel too inconvenienced.

“I love the idea of someone taking the volcano personally,” he tells Metro. “I know that would be a very Hollywood actor ego thing to do. But I didn’t. I’m too psychologically well, I’m afraid.”

Psychologically well is a state the star has been enjoying lately, as his career resurgence that took off two years ago with the first Iron Man continues unabated.

His time on the outs with Hollywood, after a lengthy and well-publicized battle with addiction and multiple arrests, appears to be behind him, and as successful as he’s been, Downey tries to keep things in perspective.

“I’m dressed up for a press junket about a superhero. It’s a cosmic joke,” he says. “I think it’s funny. It’s very lucrative — as funny as lucrative things get.”

Still, as funny as Downey may find it, he takes his work seriously, turning in standout performances in everything he’s headlined since his resurgence.

“I really know what I’m doing. I think I’ve demonstrated that,” he says. And with two major franchises — Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes — under his care, Downey insists that size matters.

“I can get excited about anything — this microphone, for example. If it’s novel and feels good and becomes creatively sticky, I power through it,” he says. “I just really need a big box to play in, or I’m not happy.”

The latest Iron Man chapter gave Downey a chance to share that big box with another Hollywood comeback story in Mickey Rourke, who steps in as villain, Whiplash.

“He has a lot of power. He is a very emotive guy who’s lived a lot of life,” Another new face in the cast this time around is Scarlett Johansson, as Tony Stark’s mysterious new assistant.

Though a love triangle between their characters and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts may have seemed a natural choice, Downey insists it would’ve been a mistake.

“When we started working together, because it’s new, people were all saying, ‘You have so much chemistry,’” he says. “First of all, it’s not age-appropriate. Secondly, Tony’s love interest is Pepper. Third, she’s not there for that, she’s there to misdirect the story. She’s more a family member you don’t know yet.”

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