While the career of Robert Downey Jr. took a turn for the better over the last few years due to his brilliant interpretation in films like Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man, The Avengers and many more, the shadows of the past are not so easy to escape. With a history of drug abuse, jail time and violence, the actor is trying his best to put his past behind and turn over a new leaf. So far, he is managing this quite well and Hollywood’s favorite black sheep is quickly becoming the star of the flock. But let’s examine a few of the things that are less known about Robert Downey Jr., his acting career and his personal life.
1. Robert Downey Senior was the one who initiated him in the world of drugs
One of the reasons RDJ started out on the downward spiral that is drug abuse stems from his less conscientious parental figure, but not in the way you might think. It wasn’t the neglect on the part of Robert Downey Senior or the need of the teen to rebel against the traditionalist ways of the parent that drove him to narcotics. In fact, his father, who was an underground film producer of the 60s and 70s, actually gave Robert Downey Jr. his first pot cigarette at a very fragile and undiscerning age, more exactly before the age of seven. You cannot blame Robert Downey Senior for not caring about his son, especially since he also constituted the original stepping-stone in the actor’s career by casting him in his first movie, Pound.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr. heated it off back in 1984, on the stage of the movie Firstborn. While they seem to go together like a horse and carriage – no pun intended – the romance abruptly ended in 1991 and it was all because RDJ could not keep his drug addiction under control. In spite of the uncannily strong connection between the Hollywood couple, Sarah Jessica Parker eventually gave up on trying to change RDJ and his chaotic lifestyle.
3. Robert Downey Jr. has kept his nose clean since 2003
RDJ made several attempts to give up narcotics and has ended up relapsing numerous times in the process. Having been arrested several times, the year he spent in jail finally caught with him, so when his epiphany in a fast food restaurant in California struck, Robert Downey Jr. decided it was time to put a stop to the addiction once and for all. And of course, he did it in the most dramatic way possible: dumping all the drugs he had in the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
4. Susan Levin Downey helps him stay away from narcotics
RDJ has stated numerous times that he would have never been able to keep his nose clean without the aid of his wife, Susan Levin Downey. Unlike Sarah J. Parker, Susan managed to keep him on the straight path. That of course won’t stop RDJ from sometimes teasing her, like during the speech he gave at the Golden Globe Award ceremony.
5. His political views are conservative
Although you might not expect a party boy like Robert Downey Jr. to uphold the traditionalistic values of the republicans, especially in a city where liberal views abound, this is the actor’s position on the political world. However, he did also state that his political opinion has shifted radically following his incarceration, a tragic experience that makes a person put things in a whole new perspective.