Even when he’s not playing Iron Man on the big screen, Robert Downey Jr. still plays superhero on occasion in real life. Using his fame for good, he’s helped out several charitable organizations, but also brightened up the day of a few young Iron Man fans going through tough times. Most recently, the Marvel star recorded a special message for 9-year-old Domenic, who has cystic fibrosis and just got to spend a day as his own superhero, Iron Boy. Take a look!
Working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Downey made Domenic an honorary Avenger as Tony Stark, attributing his sunglasses and lack of beard to staying discreet after the recent Civil War. Downey gave the kind words after Domenic’s fun adventure as Iron Boy in Sydney, Australia. Domenic has always been a huge Iron Man fan, even occasionally referring to himself as "Tony." His fandom reached full peak when one evening, he announced at dinner, "I am Iron Boy!" Thanks to Make-A-Wish organization, Domenic was able to see his superhero identity realized.
It started when he received a video message from New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, who tasked Domenic with saving reporter Hope Joy, who had been kidnapped by Ultron’s goons. After donning the Iron Boy costume, he was taken to Clark Island and was able to save Hope. His older brother Joseph even got to participate as Colonel Rhodes, because every Iron-hero needs their own Rhodey.
Domenic then battled Ultron himself at the Sydney Opera House, and in no time, he defeated the robotic menace. This all culminated in Domenic being awarded the Medal of Valour by Scipione in front of a cheering crowd. Watch part of his journey below!
Robert Downey Jr.’s message was no doubt the perfect ending to that day for Domenic, who finally got to be the superhero he dreamt of being. This isn’t the first time Downey has brought Iron Man flair into a young fan’s life. Last year, he delivered a prosthetic arm modeled after Iron Man’s armor to 7-year-old fan Alex. The 3D printed arm was built by The Collective Project, and as an added bonus, Downey compared the appendage to an actual Iron Man arm prop that he donned (needless to say, the prosthetic one was cooler). This is also the latest opportunity Make-A-Wish has had to realize a child’s dream of being a superhero, like when Miles Scott "fought crime" as Batkid in San Francisco back in 2013, or last September when Mable got to dress as "Spider-Mable" and have her own adventure in Edmonton, Alberta.
No matter where you stand on the Marvel movies or even Downey’s performances in general, you can’t deny that the man was a class act for helping brighten young Domenic’s day as he did. As for the actor’s superhero adventures on the big screen, fans can see him next reprise Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War on May 6.