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Didn’t Need to Cry Over Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man Screentest Today but Here I Am

Robert Downey Jr is Iron Man

As a product of the ’90s, I have a different relationship with Robert Downey Jr. than a lot of younger Marvel Cinematic Universe fans. Those of us who were in high school and beyond when Iron Man was released remember seeing Downey in a myriad of ways. If it wasn’t Ally McBeal, it might have been from his mugshot. That is to say he didn’t have the best track record in Hollywood and people were wary of hiring him.

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Flash forward to 2019, and it seems like only in a weird alternate reality would Robert Downey Jr. not be a household name, but all of that is kind of thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s the kind of comeback that, if you wrote about it in a movie, no one would believe it was real. In fact, he wasn’t even the highest paid actor on the first Iron Man movie because of his troubled past. So, watching his original screentest for the role is getting a bit emotional.

For many actors, a screentest wasn’t necessary, especially if they were a big name. The reason that Robert Downey Jr. was asked to was because director Jon Favreau and Sarah Halley Finn (who did casting for the film) were both the biggest cheerleaders for Downey taking the role and wanted to prove to the studio that he was the best choice for it, and that’s how they pulled it off.

Marvel released his screentest a while ago, but it’s nice to hear what the creatives have to say about him. While this footage is just of the screentest, on the home release of Avengers: Endgame, fans can get a look into Finn and Favreau’s support of Downey and even see a bit of RDJ himself talking about the process.

To be quite honest, I cried watching the clip because it’s emotional when you stop and think about how far both Downey and the MCU have come in the last ten years. From someone who productions were afraid to even insure to now, it feels like watching someone we know personally gain success despite their past.

In the new interviews and commentary on the Endgame home release, it’s fun to see everyone talking about the dawning of Tony Stark, because look, they’re right. They said there was no one else that could play Tony the way that Downey could, and there has never been a truer statement.

Tony Stark may be dead, but we’ve had ten glorious years of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, and seeing where he started and watching his journey through Endgame was glorious for us as fans, and I know that I’m going to miss seeing Tony Stark in the future movies of the MCU.

I can’t wait for the release of Avengers: Endgame to watch all this footage and cry over Marvel even more!

(via Comic Book, image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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