Ironheart's Alden Ehrenreich Reveals The Surprising Advice Robert Downey Jr. Gave Him About Joining Marvel's Disney+ Show

Alden Ehrenreich holding blaster as Han Solo
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Alden Ehrenreich is no stranger to being a part of a big franchise thanks to his work in Solo: A Star Wars Story, but apparently, the actor wanted to consult a well-known veteran of the Marvel Cinematic Universe before he signed on for Ironheart. Who better for him to ask than Robert Downey Jr.? The MCU's original Iron Man imparted some surprising advice upon Ehrenreich ahead of the latter committing to the role. 

We still don't know anything more about Alden Ehrenreich's mystery role in Ironheart, but we do know what Robert Downey Jr. had to say to his co-star on the upcoming film Oppenheimer when Ehrenreich asked him about joining Ironheart. The actor shared RDJ's comments with THR, and the "honor" he had of introducing the Iron Man actor to Dominique Thorne as his successor: 

Well, it wasn’t so much advice. He was talking about ‘microdosing’ commercial projects alongside artistic ones, and then right before I said yes to it, I just FaceTimed him and was like, 'Is there something that I need to know before I sign on to this?' I was like, 'Is he going to say, ‘Don’t do it’?' I think they asked Harrison Ford before [Solo] what he would say to the next Han Solo, and he said, 'Don’t do it.' But Downey didn’t say that, and I sort of had the honor of introducing [Downey and Thorne]. They didn’t know each other and hadn’t talked yet, so I put them in contact with each other. He is so unfuckingbelievably generous and sweet and giving with his time, and he was so happy to talk to her and encourage her. So that was really nice.

It's really cool to hear Robert Downey Jr. was willing and happy to talk to Dominique Thorne about effectively becoming the successor to his Iron Man via her character Ironheart, who was first seen in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It must feel nice to speak to the actor who was effectively the godfather of the MCU and to hear his encouragement about taking on a role, whether you're Thorne or Alden Ehrenreich. 

The idea of "microdosing" commercial and artistic projects is also interesting and probably helpful advice that could prevent an actor from feeling burnt out from doing a superhero series and possibly movies. Being a part of the MCU, even on a small scale, can open the door to a lot of roles in other Marvel projects. Having some small indie project could help any actor switch things up and work in a different genre than supehero.

Although details about his role in the MCU are scarce, Alden Ehrenreich seeking out Robert Downey Jr.'s advice could point to the longevity his mystery Ironheart character might have in the MCU. After all, why would Marvel's highest-paid actor be talking about supplementing with artistic projects if this was just a one-off portrayal? Perhaps RDJ was just speaking in broad terms, but I'm much more interested in the role Ehrenreich is playing than I was previously. 

All this news arrives just as Vin Diesel put it out in the universe that he wants Robert Downey Jr. for the Fast and Furious franchise. There's no telling what level of willingness the actor has to join that franchise, but maybe he'll be receptive coming off of Oppenheimer the advice he gave Alden Ehrenreich. I know there are a number of people who want to see him return as Iron Man, though that day may never come. 

Ironheart is coming to Disney+, and there are a lot of other upcoming Marvel shows on the horizon. Be sure to keep an eye out for official arrival dates in the coming months as Marvel drills down its definitive plans for Phase 5 and beyond. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.