Someone asked me last week if there was anyone more popular than Jennifer Lawrence after she charmed the world during Oscar season. The answer seems obvious, though it didn’t come to me immediately:
Robert Downey Jr.
Most celebrities are polarising. And even the popular ones have their detractors. Even, for example, Sandra Bullock has been criticised by judgy bitches for, I dunno, something. We are very, very, very hard to please. Increasingly. Even Johnny Depp, once considered almost untouchable, is now that guy who keeps shoving bandanas into his pocket. I was actually half expecting him to show up to Coachella.
Sure, there is Cate Blanchett. With Cate though it isn’t so much love as...awe. Affection seems too silly an emotion to offer at her altar.
But we LOVE Robert Downey Jr, don’t we? We LOVE him.
Could Brad Pitt get away with confirming that, yes, that report in THR last year -- click here for a refresher -- was indeed accurate? Yes, he confirms that he made at least $50 million off The Avengers. And without hesitation too. And accompanied by a laugh. Like he can’t believe it either and yeah, they’re f-cking pissed, but I’m not giving it back.
Maybe that’s why. It’s all in the delivery.
This is just one detail in RDJ’s dozen detail a minute interview with GQ. Which is standard. Unlike the lesser movie stars, the biggest movie star in the world -- by box office, you can’t argue this now, can you? -- also doesn’t hold back when he commits to a profile. In his case though, what’s left to hold back? You already know that story. The new story then is how the wasted talent who woke up after a bender in some stranger’s house became the Establishment, and, incredibly, not only do we not hate him for it, we might even adore him even more. Even RDJ’s defence -- at least I think that’s what it is, you never know what he really means, do you? -- of his selling out reads like the manifesto of an outcast.
As I’ve said before, the best interviews should not be excerpted. They deserve to be read as they are presented, entirely, so that you can appreciate the flow of the person’s thoughts, and then assessed as a whole as opposed to a fragmented extraction of only the most salacious details, like what he had to say about winning an Oscar. When you read it in full body, you’ll understand why this is not the same as As IF-ing Ashley Greene. When you read it in fully body, you’re OK with him comparing Miro and Picasso as ordinarily as salad dressings whereas his friend, Gwyneth, for example could never get away with it. When you read it in fully body, it’s even funnier what he says about his boy Jude Law.
Avoid the excerpts then and set aside 10 minutes later to read it from start to finish. Click here for RDJ’s complete new interview with GQ. He’s your favourite.
PS. Is there something subversive about the way he’s holding up his pinky finger to his mouth in that picture? It’s a gesture he must have performed a hundred times, probably more, in private, and now he’s lived to recreate it in a photo shoot. Come ON!