We will get to Gwyneth in a minute. Of course, she’ll have her own dedicated article. This article however is about Robert Downey Jr, and, more specifically, RDJ, his wife Susan, and their cinematic mirror, Pepperony.

But first... look at this badass arriving in a Stark Audi at the Hollywood premiere of Iron Man 3 last night. He seems almost... relieved, non? It’s been 6 years of Iron Man for him. And an extensive press tour. It’s almost like he’s ready to let it go for a while. They say he’ll be back for The Avengers 2. And he would have to be because how could it be the same? But he’s been hinting that that’s it for him. His contract with Marvel expires after this movie. That could obviously be a big money play. It could however also be, as he told GQ, a desire to explore a different kind of filmmaking. It might be time to see him in a non-franchise film.

Enjoy it while you can then. I already saw Iron Man 3 at the junket last weekend. And I plan to see it again when it’s released in North America on May 3. Totally for Tony and Pepper. It’s not just me. Shane Black and RDJ have both said that the relationship between Tony and Pepper is the heart of the story. And many people have already noted that Iron Man is, at least, partly autobiographical. The similarities between Tony and RDJ are undeniable. In real life, RDJ has acknowledged that it’s all been Susan. That Susan is everything. And so in moving ahead with Tony Stark’s narrative, he insisted that that be reflected in Pepper Potts. Pepper is Tony’s motivation now. Susan saved RDJ. Pepper saves Tony. (This is not a spoiler as you see it in the trailer when she puts on the suit.) There is no Tony without Pepper now. There Is No Tony Without Pepper. It’s why RDJ wanted Pepper to have a part in The Avengers. If there’s no RDJ without Susan, how could there be a Tony and not be a Pepper? And what happens if Tony doesn’t have Pepper? Look at this.

G’s the work wife, see? And, you know, she really doesn’t get enough credit for what she brings to Pepper. RDJ and Tony Stark are so overwhelming, it would be easy to disappear underneath all that charisma. And she doesn’t. Their chemistry is one of the strongest features of this movie, of all the Iron Man movies, actually. OMG, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts might be irreplaceable too.

Pepperony and the Downeys forever. I need a t-shirt for this.