“Throw it in that clump of dry bushes, you moron”: Robert Downey Jr. Was Astounded by Val Kilmer’s Real Genius in 1 Movie That Made Iron Man Possible

Seems like Val Kilmer never ceases to deliver perfectly!

robert downey jr. as iron man,val kilmer

Of all the titles credited to Robert Downey Jr.’s name to date, perhaps the one that perfectly aligns with his real-life personality is that of Tony Stark in his Iron Man saga. But while that is still regarded as one of his best performances to date despite him last playing it almost half a decade ago, his iconic portrayal of the fan-favorite character wouldn’t have been possible due to one movie.

Robert Downey Jr. | Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.

This one movie was none other than his 2005 masterpiece Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which pretty much brought his career back on track. But his success through the film wasn’t the only thing that made Downey Jr.’s superhero debut possible, because what seems to have further added to his star-studded portrayal of Stark must have been the genius performance by Val Kilmer in the 2005 film!

Val Kilmer Left Robert Downey Jr. Astounded in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

In 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, two of the greatest Hollywood geniuses starred alongside each other to create an epic neo-noir dark comedy-crime film that continues to remain in even the critics’ highest regard. But surprisingly enough, only one of them played their real witty self in the movie.

This was none other than Val Kilmer, who played Perry van Shrike and absolutely nailed it.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. (2005) | Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

In fact, while the audiences and critics from around the globe were one to praise Kilmer on his immersive performance, even Robert Downey Jr., who totally killed it as the dumb Harry Lockheart, couldn’t help but openly admit to the Top Gun actor’s genius in the movie.

During an interview with Ian Winterton, the Dolittle star expressed the same as he said: He’s Val godd—n Kilmer. He’s amazing. The stuff he came up with on the spot was great. Like when he’s supposed to tell me to put my cigarette out and I ask him where and he just deadpans, ‘Throw it in that clump of dry bushes, you moron.’

Val Kilmer in a still from the movie. | Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Needless to say, Downey Jr. sounds just as impressed with Kilmer’s outstanding performance in the movie as we all were while watching the pure gem piece of work.

That being said, in the 2005 movie itself, the Shrike portrayer‘s brilliantly witty remarks felt like just what RDJ’s character in the MCU would say.

And judging how the Chaplin actor was greatly astounded by Kilmer, that just might be where he drove his inspiration from to deliver that immaculate portrayal of Tony Stark throughout his tenure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Even Led to RDJ Playing Tony Stark in the MCU

Downey Jr. and Kilmer in a still from the movie. | Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

As fans already know, the late ’90s weren’t too good for Downey Jr., considering how he not only suffered from drug abuse but also underwent a major decline in his career due to the same. But then his career was saved, and it was all to the courtesy of his 2005 film with Kilmer.

Although the film’s box office performance wasn’t all that satisfactory as it brought in around $785 thousand more than its $15 million dollar budget (as per Box Office Mojo), it was still a remarkable success as it scored a whopping 86% on the Tomatometer and 87% audience score.

Downey Jr. in and as Iron Man. | Credit: Marvel Studios.

Needless to say, because of such acclaim over the tremendous acting chops he displayed in the movie as the dumb Harry, RDJ was able to soon climb back on everyone’s good side. Moreover, 3 years after this film, he landed Iron Man, which solidified his position in the industry and the MCU.

All of this being said, it can be agreed that Downey Jr.’s 2005 film with Kilmer made the absolute success of his 2008 superhero movie possible, considering how it seems to have not only paved the way for him to score his superhero role but also inspired RDJ for his outstanding portrayal of Tony Stark.

You can watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang on Prime Video and Iron Man on Disney+.

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