RDJ covers the new issue of Vanity Fair in advance of the Team Downey release of The Judge. It's a standard RDJ interview, which means he's forthcoming, if not always comprehensible, and generous, and unapologetic without sounding defensive. As always, RDJ speaks openly about his addiction and while I wondered at a point when/if we would ever get to a point where that wouldn't be a story, he is still living with it -- it's a disease, like cancer, like ALS -- so why wouldn't he continue to talk about it? Especially since he believes he's passed it on to his son.
I appreciate the way he handled that situation. Instead of issuing a "no comment" or sanctimoniously scolding the media, he thanked the authorities for their assistance, revealed that his family had some sh-t to deal with, and then moved on. He has the same attitude in Vanity Fair:
"He’s his mother’s son and my son, and he’s come up the chasm much quicker than we did,” says Downey. “But that’s typical in the Information Age; things get accelerated. You’re confronted with histories and predispositions and influences and feelings and unspoken traumas or needs that weren’t met, and all of a sudden you’re three miles into the woods. Can you help someone get out of those woods? Yes, you can. By not getting lost looking for them.” After a pause, Downey adds, “Pick a dysfunction and it’s a family problem.”
In the same way that he doesn't shut down discussion about his challenges, RDJ also doesn't close off about his success, specifically how that success looks. The interview and photo shoot took place at his home. There's a giant "R" on the lawn. It's a mini petting zoo. He has a lot of cars:
Cohen speaks with Downey at his home in Malibu, which not only features a giant R placed in the lawn as well as an animal pen with two goats and some alpacas (which he doesn’t know why he has) but is home to his extensive car collection, which includes a Porsche, a Corvette, and a “Ford F150. Bentley given to me in lieu of back-end payment for Iron Man 3. Volvo. That’s a Woody. That’s a 1970 Boss 302 Mustang. That’s a 1970 Mercedes-Benz Pagoda. That’s my dear friend the Audi, whom I’ve had a lovely relationship with since the first Iron Man. It’s an A8. That’s an Audi R7, arguably one of the greatest cars ever made. That’s a Mercedes-Benz wagon. That’s the 2011 VW GTI.” When Cohen asks Downey whether this is a post–Iron Man collection, Downey says, “Are you kidding? Before that, I didn’t even have the GTI.”
He's waited a long time for this. And mostly he had to because he got in his own way. But you remember what he said a couple of years ago about getting his?
Here's a man who has always wanted this kind of success and isn't struggling to accept it now that it's happened, Chris Evans. And it happened by the "sacred brotherhood" of Marvel. Big brother is setting the example.
By trying to avoid cheeseburgers? That's where we can all relate:
When asked about his food weaknesses, he replies, “Ice Cream. Cheeseburgers. Listen to me. I want a cheeseburger. I want bacon on it. I know I’m not supposed to. I want a lot of cheese. I want Thousand Island. I might even put some Mulberry Street Pizza pizza oil on it. If I could eat whatever I wanted every day, I would have Domino’s pizza with pasta carbonara inside every slice. And at night I would have Neapolitan ice cream until I felt absolutely toxic. And then I would drift off telling myself, ‘It’s going to be O.K. . . . It’s going to be O.K. you’re going to train in the morning.’ ”
Pizza with pasta inside? God. I've never thought of that before. But now that it's in my mind, I can't stop. I need it. I need it.
Click here to read more about RDJ in Vanity Fair