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EXCLUSIVE: Robert Downey, Jr. Suing Universal For Making Dolittle | A Sit Down With RDJ

As the headline suggests, this story became much bigger than I ever intended. What was supposed to be a fluff piece about Robert Downey, Jr. and his life after the Marvel Cinematic Universe turned into the scoop of the decade (partially because it’s January 2020). The source of the rift between Universal and the legendary actor is the newly released Dolittle. Not only did it make significantly less money than Bad Boys For Life, a film that cost half as much as Downey’s new film, but critics savaged it. See the graphic below:

These are the nice reviews.

Had you told me a week ago that I would have to write the words I’m about to, I would have said, “Wait, I got to meet Robert Downey, Jr.?!??” I won’t lie and pretend other thoughts would have been present. Besides, he was now the star of the biggest film of all time and has a new mega-budget movie in theaters. Life should be great, right?

We agreed to meet at his second garage that is behind his third house. If that seems like an insult, it’s most certainly not. This garage has been dubbed the Stark Cave (as opposed to the traditional man cave). Besides, I can’t even tell you where this place is, as he’s very secretive about what goes on there (edit: I seriously had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, please stop tweeting me).

I arrived early and stood outside the door, anxious to get in. It was then that I heard a loud beeping. Intrigued, I spun around to witness a dump truck pulling up to the front door. Curious. I hadn’t seen a dumpster over there. I figured it wasn’t my business and turned around.

Then I heard waves of material dumping out and the journalist in me needed to know. The answer should have been obvious. It was money. The dump truck was literally pouring out straight cash. All hundreds from what I could tell. My mouth completely open, I turned back around.

I heard it drive away and felt uncomfortable with the absurd amount of money behind me. “At least it was over,” I thought.

More beeping.

“No.”

I turned around to see a second dump truck at the front door. It began pouring yet another load of money onto RDJ’s driveway. Suddenly butlers, chefs, house cleaners and other staff appeared out of the front door and formed a chain. They were passing the stacks of one-hundred dollar bills inside the house.

Suddenly Iron Man himself appeared from around the corner.

“Big guy! Looks like you’ve gained weight since I last saw you,” he said with no clue whatsoever that I had actually LOST fifteen pounds.

“Yes I did,” I replied like the coward I am.

He was freshly showered, wearing a black shirt with no sleeves, jeans, and had a towel thrown over his shoulder. He informed me he had been at his martial arts studio, which apparently was behind the garage. Of course it was.

I asked about the money and if we needed to help clean it up.

“Oh no, they got it. They do this twice a week. Just a typical Disney bonus,” he replied.

With that he led me inside his Stark Cave and…while I can’t say too much, I must say it’s marvelous (haha Marvel said my nephew while I read this to him).

He had spectacular wonders in his Bat Stark Cave. Stolen props, posters of his most famous movies (Soap Dish, Wonder Boys), the Golden Globe he won for Ally McBeal before he went to prison, and even framed awards written in Sharpie memorializing his Oscar nominations for Chaplin and Tropic Thunder.

“Those are just temporary. When I win an Oscar I’ll take those down. They’re there to serve as a reminder of what a loser I am,” claimed Downey, Jr.

I had to remind him he’s one of the biggest stars of all time. “I think you’ve had an exceptional career, sir.”

“Tell that to my mother,” he snapped while turning away.

I could have swore he was holding back tears, but that wouldn’t make sense, right? I mean…naw. He was fine.

He looks happier here than he did when I left.

Finally, we began the interview. He seemed combative from the beginning.

SM: So tell me how you feel about your new movie.
RDJ: What’s your problem, man?

I was stunned. How could I have offended him with one sentence?

SM: Is something wrong?
RDJ: Did you see it?
SM: I did.
RDJ: And what did you think of it?
SM: I thought it was a fun-looking movie with a great cast.
RDJ: Everything you just said is you politely trying not to say you hate it.
SM: That’s not-
RDJ: I can also tell because usually when you sit down for an interview and someone actually loves your work they can’t wait to tell you. It’s the first thing they’ll say. Not you.

He had me.

SM: I don’t want to, uh-
RDJ: Tell the truth?
SM: No, I-
RDJ: Don’t want to tell the truth.
SM: I do, I just don’t want to-
RDJ: Give me the decency and respect of your honest opinion?
SM: Fine! The movie sucks, alright? Total garbage. Steaming piles of sh*t lit on fire with fish guts thrown into it.
RDJ: Wow.

What is wrong with me?

SM: Robert, I’m sorry.
RDJ: Why? It does suck. Nobody likes it.
SM: Didn’t you say on Good Morning America that your kids like it?
RDJ: They do. So what? They’re children.
SM: At least it was the first premiere your kids got to go to, right?
RDJ: Excellent. My kids’ first time seeing me in a movie theater is Dolittle. They’re gonna love telling that to their therapists.
SM: I-
RDJ: I’m kidding. Mostly. It doesn’t matter. I’ll get my revenge soon enough.

Revenge?

SM: Revenge?
RDJ: I’m all over it. Nobody can hide from me.

Was I interviewing a future muderer?

SM: Are you talking about someone who helped make the movie? Like the director?
RDJ: No, I love Stephen. Besides, he’s not a big enough target.

Oh my God.

RDJ: I’m going after the tippy top.

If the FBI is reading this, I am NOT his friend.

SM: Go on (edit: yes, I was sweating okay? A lot. You guys know I sweat a lot. Stop tweeting me about it.)
RDJ: I’m going to sue Universal.
SM: *laughter*

I stopped laughing when he grabbed Captain America’s real shield, which he has in his possession for some reason.

SM: So what’s your plan here?
RDJ: I’m going to put that place out of business.
SM: That could take a while.
RDJ: I’ve got a while.
SM: Of course you do.
RDJ: I also have the resources. You saw that money. That’s nothing. I can take down anyone and anything that isn’t Disney. Gotta keep Papa Iger [CEO of Disney] happy. He doesn’t like it when I step out of line.
SM: I can imagine. So why sue the entire studio?
RDJ: They’ve ruined my career.
SM: Just in family films.
RDJ: Don’t make jokes. Not right now.
SM: That’s my bad.
RDJ: I didn’t star in classics like Home for the Holidays and The Shaggy Dog remake to end up in this piece of crap. Dolittle was supposed to prove I didn’t need more Iron Man movies. Bob’s been calling me every time new numbers come in.
SM: I’m sure Sherlock Holmes 3 will be good.
RDJ: Are you being sarcastic?
SM: No I like that first movie. You’re great and Jude Law is a perfect Watson.
RDJ: You didn’t mention the second one, A Game of Shadows. What’s up with that?
SM: Nothing.

He lifted the shield up higher, which was much scarier than it should have been.

RDJ: You hated the second movie.
SM: I don’t hate A Game of Shadows.
RDJ: You are messing with the wrong MCU star.
SM: I haven’t seen it! Okay? God.
RDJ: I forgive you.
SM: So…what went wrong with Dolittle?
RDJ: Everything.
SM: Do you think reshoots could have fixed it?
RDJ: We did reshoots.
SM: Did they help?
RSJ: They made it suck in a different way.
SM: What would you say to Universal if one of their executives was sitting right here?
RDJ: If I wanted to ruin my career I would have started doing drugs again. Making Dolittle was like a bad acid trip where you wake up scared, confused, and locked up for pissing in a water fountain.
SM: I think we all know how that feels.
RDJ: What did I tell you about making jokes?
SM: Not right now.
RDJ: Correct.
SM: Besides suing the studio that distributed your latest movie, what would you like to do next?
RDJ: I’d like to hop on the Bad Boys franchise. I could easily play a villain. Did they see me in Topic Thunder? I played an Australian actor playing a black dude playing a Sgt. in the Vietnam war. I can do anything. It’s fact.
SM: What makes you want to do that?
RDJ: Their box office beat the hell out of Dolittle. If you can’t beat em’ join em’.
SM: That wouldn’t have worked out well against Thanos.
RDJ: Make one more joke and I will assault you with Cap’s shield until you forget where you are.
SM: …have you reached out to anyone in the Bad Boys franchise?
RDJ: Will Smith has been busy with his YouTube channel, but I’ve spoken with Martin.
SM: What did Mr. Lawrence say?
RDJ: He said they were looking for a bigger star.
SM: Martin Lawrence said that? About you?
RDJ: This is what happens when you’re in a movie that cost $175m dollars that doesn’t even open to $30m opening weekend, man.
SM: That sucks. Well like you said you were in Tropic Thunder. You showed a lot of range.
RDJ: Right? Like I did blackface. That takes balls.
SM: It’s…yeah it only worked because you were making fun of doing so.
RDJ. Totally. Just to be clear, I’d rather not do black face right now. That would probably be the easiest way to finish off my career. Besides, I want to be able to look my kids in the eyes in ten years. Hard to picture that right now.
SM: This has been a real Thor’s hammer to your career’s chest hasn’t it?
RDJ: Get out before I commit attempted murder.

Overall the interview went very well. I’m shocked it’s come to this between RDJ and Universal, but I guess anything goes when you work in a town that is all about “what have you done for me lately?” We wish Downey and Universal luck. We all know the only real winner in this, as always, is Walt Disney.

Oh crap. I just remembered Downey asked me before we started the interview if everything related to Dolittle could be off the record. Eh, whatever. Too late now.

Thanks Ryan, you ruined Robert Downey, Jr for the rest of us. Pick on someone your own size.

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