Can this guy make a bad movie?
Robert Downey Jr. is as close to bullet-proof as actors from the 80s can possibly be. Sure, Downey -- who turns 42 years old today -- has booked more time in jail than on top of box office charts, but when was the last time you turned off the TV when one of his movies came on?
I'll even sit through 1969, that awful ode to the '60s, and Chances Are, because it also features Mary Stuart Masterson. That, my friends, is devotion.
He was a recent cover-boy for Esquire magazine, if you can call a 42-year-old a "boy." (It's hard to think of Downey as an adult, and I mean that in the nicest, Peter Pan sort of way.) He has sat down with James Lipton on The Actor's Studio to talk about his acting as well as drug addiction and jail time. And he has returned to the big screens in Zodiac.
Robert Downey Jr. is the kind of guy that we could be talking about in 30 years, when he's picking up a lifetime achievement Oscar. And he's also the kind of guy that we could be talking about tomorrow, if his demons land him in another California pen. Or someplace worse.
But until either happens, let's just marvel in the theory that there's no movie that can't be vastly improved with his participation.
TOP 10 FLICKS IMPROVED BY THE MERE PRESENCE OF ROBERT DOWNEY JR.:
10. Soapdish (1991): "Attention: no turbans for Miss Talbert!"
9. Tuff Turf (1985): "All I want to do is live!"
8. True Believer (1989): "I can't believe we're going to see a bunch of Nazis... at night!"
7. Back to School (1986): "Violent ground acquisition games such as football is in fact a crypto-fascist metaphor for nuclear war."
6. Weird Science (1985): "Girls, shmirls!"
5. Wonderboys (2000): "I feel this kid in my bones."
4. Natural Born Killers (1994): "Repetition works, David. Repetition works, David."
3. Home For The Holidays (1995): "Well, that was absurd, let's eat dead bird!"
2. Less Than Zero (1987): "Patience is next to Godliness, Rip, didn't I ever tell you that? Actually, it's the flip side of cleanliness, but it's still pretty f---ing important if you ask me."
1. Chaplin (1992): "If you want to understand me, watch my movies."