Ask any Marvel fan and they’ll say that Robert Downey Jr. is the daddy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the success of 2008’s Iron Man is what made this shared franchise possible in the first place. If you ask the (iron) man himself, though, he says that the credit for sustaining the MCU should go to his fellow Avenger, Chris Evans.
Yup, Tony Stark might have an ego the size of Ego the Living Planet, but Downey thinks it’s all down to Evans’ terrific performance as Captain America, and the quality of his movies, that fans have stuck with the MCU for the past decade. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter for an in-depth piece on Evans, Downey said:
“[Evans’] suspension of his own disbelief, regardless of whatever doubts he had, is the reason all these other worlds are able to be built. Starting with Avengers, and then Guardians, and Black Panther. People love to say — and I’ll eat it up — that I’m kind of the progenitor of this whole universe. But if you want to talk about it in terms of team building, and you want to talk about it as the most successful creative relay race in the history of cinema, he was the critical leg.”
The actor went on to say what it’s like to act opposite Evans and how he’s witnessed his friend grow as a person as well as a performer.
“I’ve been in hundreds of scenes with this guy. Nobody laughs more than him. Sometimes he makes me self-conscious, like, ‘Should I be more fun?’ There’s a little bit of, like, just trying to shake out the anxiety. And I’ve also seen him, over the last 10 years, go from being someone who had laughably real social anxiety to someone who has grown more and more comfortable in their own skin.”
Stark and Steve Rogers might have a strained relationship in the movies, but it’s clear that Downey has a lot of love for his longtime co-star. And that no doubt is true the other way around as well, even if Evans did joke in the same article that Iron Man murders Cap in Avengers: Endgame.
Yes, all the signs are pointing to one if not both both of these founding fathers of the MCU bowing out in the film, which will be landing in cinemas on April 26th. And whether it’ll be Robert Downey Jr.‘s or Chris Evan’s last stand in the franchise, fans owe both a huge thanks for being our heroes.