Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

An Elementary Sherlock

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

An Elementary Sherlock

Article excerpt

IN a dynamic new portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous characters, 'Sherlock Holmes' sends Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson on their latest challenge. Here, JILL LAWLESS speaks to star Robert Downey Jnr about having big boots to fill . . .

LONDON (AP): Robert Downey Jr is an actor at the top of his game - already a big-screen superhero, now an iconic super-sleuth.

He's also surprisingly open about his self-doubt.

A charismatic performer with a sometimes troubled past, Downey struck box-office gold with the 2008 hit Iron Man, and now plays the great Victorian detective in Guy Ritchie's action-filled Sherlock Holmes. He knows he's not many people's mental image of the angular, cerebral and very British Holmes. He hasn't let it stop him.

"You kind of act as if you're up to the task until you find out whether you truly are or not," said Downey, in reflective mood during an interview in London.

"I was fortunate that right about this time last year I was really peaking in my own confidence and faith in my abilities. And seeing as I'd been cast and contracted and it was moving forward, it wasn't like there was any benefit to me not thinking I was the perfect guy for it."

Ritchie said Downey was 'one of the few American actors' he could imagine as Holmes.

'His English accent is almost flawless. He just seems like the perfect guy.' And like Holmes, 'his mind works at a speed I can't keep up with'.

Downey's detective is not the lanky, languid, deerstalker hat-sporting Holmes of previous screen interpretations. This, after all, is a movie by the director of Cockney gangster-geezer romps Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and RocknRolla.

When not battling baddies with stick fighting and martial arts, Holmes relaxes with a bit of bare-knuckle boxing. Trusty sidekick Dr Watson, played by Jude Law, is a wounded Afghan war veteran with a gambling habit and an eye for the ladies.

Travesty? Actually, it's surprisingly faithful to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original descriptions of Holmes in stories that began appearing in 1887. …

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