Robert Downey Jr. is ready for what comes next. The actor is eternally grateful for the opportunity that the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave him, but it's time to move on. RDJ has never been shy about professing his love of the MCU and its fans over the years. Avengers: Endgame marked the end of the road for Tony Stark, a role the actor has played since 2008's Iron Man, which kicked the whole MCU off and reignited Downey Jr.'s career in a major way.
In a new interview, Robert Downey Jr. made it clear that he is not his work when asked about where he's going next. The actor appeared on Off-Camera With Sam Jones and the host was trying to figure out "who" Downey Jr. is going to be next. As it turns out, he isn't going to be anything, except for himself. He had this to say.
"Well, here's the thing. First thing you learn in theater arts: aesthetic distance. I am not this play I'm doing. I'm not a character in The Fantasticks. I'm not Will from Oklahoma. Aesthetic distance, it's job one. I'm not my work. I'm not what I did with that studio. I'm not that period of time that I spent playing this character. And it sucks because the kid in all of us wants to be like 'No. It's always gonna be summer camp and we're all holding hands and singing Kumbaya. Isn't it?' It's like 'No, no. Snap out of it.'"
While using the word "snap" might not have been the best choice of words for Robert Downey Jr. at this point in time, one can easily see what he is trying to get across. After having a safety net of the sure thing for the past 11 years, Downey Jr. is out on his own, which can be very scary for an actor who is so closely associated with something as big as the MCU. He went on to talk about his MCU experience and keeping an eye on the future. Downey Jr. explains.
"Realistically, to put it in a nutshell, I had an incredible 10-year run that was creatively satisfying, it was very, very hard work and I dug deep; but I have not been forced to explore the new frontier of what is my creative and personal life after this. It's always good to get ahead of where you're about to be."
Robert Downey Jr. doesn't seem to know where he's going yet, but he knows what he does not want to be, which is ultimately one of the first questions a creative person asks themselves before jumping into something new. "What am I not?" is just as important as recognizing one's potential skills. With that being said, Downey Jr. has his eyes on the future to get ahead.
Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most recognizable and famous people on the planet because of the MCU. And while he appreciates everything that came with it, he knows he can't be Tony Stark forever and has to mentally prepare himself for what's next, while also setting some ground rules with fans at the same time. There's always room for Downey Jr. to return to the MCU at some point, but it's time to get away into something fresh. You can watch the interview with Robert Downey Jr. below, thanks to the Off Camera Show YouTube channel.