Picture this: You’re on a dinner date engaging in smart back-and-forth banter worthy of Moonlighting, exchanging bon mots and touchés and crazy-witty cultural references… and here’s the best part: Your sparring partner has gorgeous eyes, movie star good looks and is sexy as hell. Check, please! There’s one man we know of who can fit that bill, and it’s Robert Downey Jr. Fast-talking, unpredictable and handsome, bad boy RDJ is the thinking woman’s perfect match — which is why seeing Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is high on our New Year’s to-do list. (Ahem, along with Downey himself.)
Robert Downey Jr.
Born: April 4, 1965
Hometown: New York City, New York
Height: 5′ 8-1/2″
Why we love him
With his sharp wit and always impeccable comic timing, this doe-eyed bad boy with a checkered past is a man we can’t help but want to rehabilitate.
Fast-talking, quick-thinking, sardonic characters are Robert’s M.O. (think Tony Stark as Iron Man, Larry Paul in Ally McBeal, and Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder), and we could listen to RDJ’s skipping, staccato voice for hours. To pull off such smooth roles, you have to have a pretty clever head on your own shoulders, and RDJ’s a smart cookie no doubt. But when you hear Downey talk about his job as an actor, he’s not one to toot his own horn.
“This is still art for commerce, at best,” Downey told Men’s Journal. “I consider myself to be a pain-in-the-ass artist who’s self-aware enough to still be tolerable. While I have a little bit of juice, I try not to rub it in anyone’s face, because it’s just disgusting. And I use the term ‘artist’ loosely.”
Whatever you call it, keep your art coming, Robert! We’re crazy about it (and by “it” we mean “you.”)
He’s cleaned up his act
Along with being one of Hollywood’s most sought-after leading men, RDJ’s reputation has a less celebrated side: He’s the son of a drug addict and became an addict himself beginning at an early age. After several substance-related arrests (including possession of cocaine, heroin and marijuana) and stints in rehab in the ’90s and early ’80s, Downey is sober — and happy — and says he has been since the 2003. (Practicing the martial art Wing Chun has played a big part in his sobriety.) He now speaks of his addict days with perspective:
“My experience, and not just regarding my life, but what I see, is that by the time people get busted, there’s usually been wrongdoing for some time,” he told Success magazine. “Now, once in a while people never get busted, and once in a while someone gets busted the very first time they fall. The rest of us tend to catch a cosmic pass once in a while. The mistake is to take that as a sign of a green light to continue not doing the right thing.”
RDJ swerved a few times on the road to recovery, but seeing him finally succeed is spectacular. Does he have any words of wisdom for others carving their own paths in life?
“For me, it’s just this: Are you in your own way, or out of your own way? Are you doing the right thing or is your heart heavy?”
We love that advice so much we want to stitch it on a sampler!
He loves Jude Law (almost) as much as we do
When you’re playing Sherlock Holmes, you need a good Watson, which is exactly what Jude Law was to Downey, he told Flicks and Bits:
“I feel about Jude the way Sherlock feels about John, I love the guy, we’re like brothers. The funny thing is that we have this very gentlemanly relationship with each other. We just show up and set up shop, work our asses off, tear through fights, work through scenes, and have this incredibly close relationship. Like good, I’ll speak for him, trained actors…and I learned it by proxy, you turn off at the end of the day and then you go back and do it again in the morning. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.”
And we couldn’t have asked for a better guy to pair your royal hotness with, Robert!
Robert Downey Jr.’s relationship status
RDJ has been married to producer Susan Downey, 38, since 2005. The pair met on the set of the movie Gothika (which she produced), and he proposed to her on her 30th birthday. The pair is expecting their first child (a boy!) in late February of this year — RDJ accidentally revealed the sex of the baby on the Tonight Show in December 2011!
He recently spoke about his wife in the latest issue of Men’s Fitness: “What can I even say about her? I’m crazy about her. Everybody’s opinion isn’t right all the time, but as far as averages go, if she wants to, she could hit to the same seat in the bleachers over and over and over again. That sort of consistency is awe-inspiring. We give each other the freedom to explore who and what we really are, which is great, because we’re always changing. I know I’ve changed a fair amount over the last decade, but she’s changed 10 times more than I have.”
Sounds like the ideal relationship to us! We’ll just have to settle for our RDJ fantasies — but what dreamy fantasies they are….