Avengers: Endgame Directors Reveal How Robert Downey Jr Kept Tony Stark Fresh Over 10 Years

The Russo Brothers say RDJ went to great lengths to make sure playing Tony Stark never ran stale.

It's difficult for most actors to play a character more than a single time, let alone countless times over the span of a decade. Robert Downey Jr. is one such actor who's been able to accomplish such a feat, playing Tony Stark/Iron Man in 10 films. According to the Russo Brothers, who've been able to direct Downey in three of his MCU films, Downey prefers to take things off-script in an attempt to surprise himself and keep his roles fresh.

"When he'll come back to set, Robert is famous for throwing the plan out the window and climbing on top of the couch and whatever, sort of going off-book," Joe said in a recent chat with Vanity Fair. "He does this because he likes to surprise himself. He likes to keep things fresh. He lights up for that."

"There's no other way that he could have played that character for 10 movies unless he was doing that," Anthony added. "Robert has certainly lived a complicated life. He understands the stakes, he understands loss, he understands the turns life can take between ups and downs. He's always looking for that level of depth, that level of complexity. I think he knows that's what we all come to movies for in the first place."

In that same piece, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige to debunks rumors the production house was thinking of bringing Stark back through multiversal storytelling.

"We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again," Feige shared. "We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way."

"We'd already said tearful goodbyes on the last day of shooting. Everybody had moved on emotionally," Joe Russo added. "We promised him it would be the last time we made him do it-ever."

Avengers: Endgame, and all other Downey-starring Marvel films, are now streaming on Disney+.

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