Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Born Survivor; Movies Film of the Week: Tropic Thunder

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Born Survivor; Movies Film of the Week: Tropic Thunder

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Oglethorpe reports

LIKE an action man movie hero who miraculously survives the bullets when common sense and logic tells us that he really should have been hit and probably killed, Robert Downey Junior's movie career just keeps on rolling.

The hellraiser's hellraiser - he twice served time in jail because of his inability to control his intake of narcotics - simply refused to join that sorry band of Hollywood actors who have lost their careers because of drug abuse.

Robert's life has certainly been blighted by his fondness for drugs and, at 43, he has the look of a man who could be ten years older.

It hasn't brought a halt to his work, though. In fact, he is one of the hottest properties around after "fighting the fight of my life", as he puts it, to land the lead role in Iron Man, a movie which earned box-office receipts of nearly half a billion pounds earlier this year.

With that kind of success, landing a leading role in TROPIC THUNDER wasn't so hard to pull off.

Robert says the content of his new movie is "kind of ironic", explaining: "Here I am playing an actor playing a soldier in the kind of war movie where guys survive impossible odds.

"I guess I feel I've done that myself.

However much I feel I've screwed up, my life keeps straightening itself out in one way or another.

"Did I think it was 'all over' on occasions?

Oh sure I did. But I've managed to keep coming back."

There is a school of thought in Hollywood that suggests Downey is showing himself to be a tad ungrateful by making a movie which, in part at least, ridicules Tinsel Town.

Should he really be taking a swipe at an industry which, time and again, has pulled him back from the brink and given him work?

In Tropic Thunder he plays an Australian actor called Kirk Lazarus who in turn plays an Afro-American character called Sergeant Osiris.

The movie also stars Steve Coogan, Ben Stiller and Jack Black and, once it has rung itself dry of gags about luvvies playing action heroes (so audiences will know it's a satire, the highly strung characters use words like "emotionality") it introduces the idea of the actors playing their characters for real. …

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