The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it, in an onscreen capacity at least, can be directly attributed to Robert Downey Jr. Had Iron Man not become a critical and commercial smash hit, rejuvenating the actor’s career and turning him into an A-list star overnight, then the franchise as we know it could have turned out much differently.
It’s something that Kevin Feige has admitted on numerous occasions, and it only further enhanced the symbiosis between RDJ and Tony Stark when the MCU’s biggest star and most popular name knew fine well that he was the catalyst for what soon became the most successful film series in history.
Jeremy Renner has been part of the furniture for ten years now, but during an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he was still happy to praise his former co-star for taking the majority of the MCU’s major players under his wing when they first signed up.
“I think even just in the MCU, with Downey, he kind of kicked off the MCU in the way that he did with Iron Man. He kind of took us all under his wing, if you will, to kind of shepherd us in in a certain way. We all knew each other and we’re all friends, just in a different sort of way you can lean on someone.”
Tom Holland is another one that’s been effusive in his praise for Robert Downey Jr. as an offscreen mentor, and it’s nice to think that the camaraderie between the Avengers isn’t just for show. These guys and gals are close friends, and they have been for years, so much so that they still keep in touch via the most star-studded group chat in existence.