Robert Downey Jr
In this episode of 'Inside The Actors Studio', the man with the blue-cards, James Lipton, interviews the man with the little blue-pills, Robert Downey Jr., live in front of a class of media-centric students.
Now this tete-a-tete begins with Robert explaining to James his own alternate upbringing. About how his father, Robert Downey Sr., was an underground gorilla filmmaker. About how his mother, Elsie Ford, was a beautiful comedic actress. And about how his time at Santa Monica High, both nurtured him as a rebellious performer, but hindered him academically.
Moreover, it is also during this time when Robert started his acting career as well. As he took part in such films as 'Weird Science', 'Chaplin', 'Home For The Holidays', and many-many more. However, this burst of notoriety did have a somewhat strange affect on Robert. One hand he admits that he worked very hard in each of these projects. Whereas on the other hand his substance abuse and all night partying seemed to have jovially mangled his perspective.
Plus, it is because of this latter facet, that Robert was then steered down the following path: (1) He was arrested and served sixteen months in prison. (2) Robert made a come back on the television show, Ally McBeal, which aided him on a professional level. (3) This then paved the way for him to star in such movies as 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang', 'A Scanner Darkly', and 'Gothika'. And (4) He met his now wife, Susanne, on the set of 'Gothika'.
In closing this interview, James asks Robert questions based upon Bernard Pivot structured questionnaire, where we learn that Robert hates the word ‘Spelunking’ as well as other such trivia. Before the student’s subsequently ask Robert their own questions, giving him the opportunity to answer them with humility, grace, and his own perspective on the industry.
Here are a couple of quotes taken from this program:THE REVIEW:
- I have so many ethnicity's running through my veins I do not know where to start.
- Got any hair on your balls?
- Now it's time to do the party scene for real.
- Chaplin freaked me out.
- I was oblivious of what I was doing at that time.
- Sometime you are mysteriously guided by people during your time on Earth. It's a good thing.
Wow! What a very nice interview! Robert really presents himself in a very jovial and engaging manner, and honestly answers all of the questions that James poses to him with all the charm and charisma that he has on screen. Please note, I am not trying to imply that he comes across as ‘putting on a show’. Although he does demonstrate a couple of tap dancing moves he learnt from Ramon Estevez (brother of Emilio and Charlie) while in High School. Rather, that Roberts frankness and engaging comments really dig from the hip bone, especially when he talks about his alternate upbringing and his bi-polar stardom.
Well, he does not blame his Mother or Father on his rather unorthodox behavior. And he does not blame society or his career for the way his life turned out either. He blames himself. Which is most probably why Robert has become the man his has turned into today. A star of the humane.
I had a very good friend like Robert whilst I was at college. Jake was his name, and he was the type of a chap that had that 'bad boy' vibe imbued within his 'good boy' charm. Now I'm sure you know the type of a person I'm talking about, folks. One of those lovable rogues who always get themselves into and then out of trouble, as if it was an extracurricular activity or a way of life.
I remember one time when Jake got himself arrested for being drunken and disorderly whilst running around naked in Hyde Park, London. Now me being the type of good Samaritan than I am, I tried my best to prevent this from happening to him, by punching Jake in the face. But no. He would not have it. He wanted to rub his private parts onto a police woman instead, goading her and her male college to lock him up and throw away the key.
Silly sod. Still, sometimes people have to get 'this stuff' out of their system, don't they. Like Jake did. And like Robert did too. Though in Roberts case his rise to fame began on a television show starring a lawyer. Whereas in Jake's case his fall from grace began in a police line-up where he wanted to shag a lawyer. Horses for courses I suppose. And a morality lesson of sorts which states 'Sometime things turn out for the best in the long run'.
In many ways time has worked very favorably for Robert over the years. You can tell it in his manner and his stance in this interview. It's as though he has learnt from his past, and used that experience to push himself into the future. Heck, I suppose that if Robert did not learn from his mistakes, he'd most probably be dead by now, slumped out on a pavement somewhere, overdosing on drugs.
Funnily enough, there was something that Robert said in this interview which inadvertently highlighted his way of thinking as well. 'The most screwed up people are genuinely the most honest' was his remark, and to me goes to show how this living dichotomy truly is as a person. He's an actor. He's a hippy. He's a recovering substance abuser. He's a comedian. And he is a everything he wants to be and yet something else at the same time.
I am sure that James could sense this in Robert during their conversation together, and that is why he did reign him in at times, curbing his 'honesty' from spilling out onto 'other areas'. And do you know what? That is another thing that makes this interview a joy to watch overall. As it lets you understand a little bit more about the man behind the smile, as well as giving a concise account as to what drove Robert into becoming one of the most charismatic actors on screen today
Bless you buddy, may your career be an Eastwood.
THE RATING: B+