Why Robert Downey Jr. Stopped Making Smaller Indie Movies

It sounds like Robert Downey Jr. has had enough of indie movies. In fact, he doesn’t plan on returning to anything with a paltry budget anytime soon. But rather than it being down to any creative issues, Downey Jr. has simply grown weary of the stress and harder working conditions that come hand in hand with working on smaller films.

Robert Downey Jr., who was busy promoting Avengers: Age Of Ultron, opened up to during an interview with Entertainment Weekly Radio about his issues with being the world’s highest paid actor on a teeny tiny film, admitting that, in the end, it’s simply exhausting.

They’re exhausting and sometimes they suck and they you just go, ‘What was I thinking?’ Sometimes the little movies are the ones that wind up taking the most out of you because they’re like, ‘Hey, man, we’re running a couple of days behind. Do you think you can stay through your birthday and then come back on the fourth of July. And, by the way, like, the crew … can you pay for the craft services? And, oh, by the way, man, when we go to Sundance, it’s like … can we just sit you in a chair and you can sell this for six days in a row so that we’ll make 180 bucks when it opens in one theater?’

Wow. That suddenly went from Robert Downey Jr. having one very issue with working on low-budget films to listing off a cavalcade of very specific problems that have clearly blighted him throughout his recent career. The problem is, in recent years, Downey Jr. hasn’t actually worked on ultra-low-budget films. Yes, The Judge and The Soloist far from matched the budgets he’s used to at Marvel, but they still cost $50 million and $60 million each to make. And with that kind of budget I’d be surprised if those in control asked Downey Jr. to lend them a few dimes so that they could feed the staff.

Maybe he’s got issues with the likes of 2006’s A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints and 2008’s Charlie Bartlett, both of which are relatively average, had a paltry budget and failed to gross anything spectacular. If that’s the case then it’s pretty rich from Downey Jr. considering that these films helped to showcase just how gosh-darn talented he was as he rebuilt his career following his controversial extra-curricular dalliances in the 90s.

Or, maybe, he’s just making a huge generalization and trying to convince himself that simply focusing on Iron Man and being paid handsomely for it over the last few years is everything that he’s ever needed, which is why he doesn’t mess around in the amateur world of indie filmmaking. Or, one final proposition, he was just joking around. I think it's the latter. Plus it should also be noted that Downey Jr. did insist that he wants to make all kind of movies, just not ones that have no budget. And when you consider that he's 50-years-old and has already had that phase of his career that makes complete sense.

Whatever his reasons for uttering the above quote, some people are clearly going to take umbrage with what he said. However, even though Downey Jr. did meander to the precipice of controversy with his remarks, I for one can’t stay mad at him. Why? Because he did so in the amicable, charming and glib fashion that has made him so God damn lovable even when he was a drug-addled reprobate.

Gregory Wakeman