Last night, I had a chance to see my first film of the Tribeca Film Festival, Charlie Bartlett. While I'll save plot details and the like for my review, I will point out that, in the film, Robert Downey Jr. plays a high school principal who's also a recovering alcoholic (though he's not doing so good with the whole "recovering" part). I point this out because it's been awhile since I've seen Downey Jr. on the big screen; I'm waiting to watch the majority of his recent roles on DVD. And though Charlie Bartlett certainly had a few flaws, I couldn't help but lose myself in Downey Jr.'s acting -- and all he's playing is a damn high school principal! Imagine how I'll feel when I see him as Iron Man. As I left the screening room last night, I couldn't help but thank God that this guy got clean. It is my opinion that he is one of the best actors working today, and to lose him to a drug would've been a damn shame.
That said, USA Today has a whole article on the Iron Man production which includes a brand new pic of Downey Jr. (as Tony Stark) forging the Iron Man suit. As you can see above, the dude looks pretty badass. Apart from the pic, the article delves into some of the training that Downey Jr. had to endure in order to get in shape for the role. Apparently, he's been lifting weights five days a week, while also practicing a good amount of martial arts. Says Downey Jr. about the role: "I'm more diligent than I used to be. I want to show Jon he was right to have faith in me. Whatever questions might have arisen about my life weren't issues with him." Though substance abuse is fairly common among actors and actresses, it has to be tough to play a role that's so close to the man you were (or are); to share your personal demons with the world, instead of just some therapist. I applaud Downey Jr. for taking the risk, and I cannot wait to see him play Tony Stark. Iron Man will hit theaters next May.