Robert Downey Jr. — not exactly known for his modesty — is calling himself one of the best actors of his generation.
“I’m probably one of the best,” the ‘Iron Man’ star tells the latest issue of GQ. “But it’s not that big a deal. It’s not like this is the greatest swath or generation of actors that has ever come down the pike.”
The Oscar-nominated actor believes he will take home an Academy Award before he dies.
“Because I’m young enough, and I’m running down being occupied with these kind of genre movies, close enough,” the 48-year-old actor said. “Even the next thing we’re doing with [my wife, Susan Downey], I’m so confident about it. It’s the best script the studio has; it’s the best thing I’ve read in years.”
He added, “Look, even if I don’t get one directly, eventually they’re just going to have to give me one when I get old. So no matter how you slice it, I’m getting one.”
Despite that, he prides himself on being a regular guy.
“Nothing pleases me more than when somebody who was awe-inspired to be working with me realizes I’m just another schmuck that they’re bored of hanging out with on a set,” he said. “I love that moment. I like it when that persistent illusion is smashed.”
Unlike a lot of his Hollywood peers, Downey had no problem discussing salary.
Asked whether he made about $50 million to appear as Iron Man in “The Avengers,” he told the GQ interviewer, “Yeah.”
“Isn’t that crazy?” he added. “I’m what’s known as ‘a strategic cost.’”
It was Downey’s persistence that won him the role of Iron Man to begin with. When director Jon Favreau first approached Marvel, the comic book company told him, “Under no circumstances are we prepared to hire him for any price.” But Downey persisted until he got a screen test.