Robert Downey Jr.: Back from the Brink

The Robert Downey Jr. we've all been waiting for is here

Kwaku Alston for TIME

Robert Downey Jr.

"I'm just not the hero type, clearly," swaggering billionaire weapons contractor Tony Stark explains to the press in the first of this summer's bumper crop of comic-book films, Iron Man, "with this laundry list of character defects and all the mistakes I've made, largely publicly." Stark, who by the way clearly [does] think he's the hero type, is played by another sort you might not associate with saving the planet: Robert Downey Jr.

Fifteen years after he was nominated for an Oscar for his uncanny portrayal of Charlie Chaplin and seven years after his last of...

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