The stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have always come off as one big happy family. Of course, the person who was arguably at the epicenter of that clan for over a decade was Robert Downey Jr. He always seemed close to his co-stars during his stint as Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man. However, it seems that he truly was a "cheerleader" for his colleagues over the years. And despite having left his post at Marvel behind, Downey apparently remains supportive of his friends and that even carried into Chris Evans’ wedding.
Years ago, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and filmmaker Jon Favreau fought for RDJ to play Stark in the first Iron Man film. And by the sounds of it, the A-lister partially went on to pay that goodwill forward by helping out his co-stars, who've since become his good friends. For instance, as a sign of solidarity and gratitude, Downey Jr. leveraged his contract negotiations for Avengers: Age of Ultron so his co-stars could get higher salaries. During a cover story for Vanity Fair, Feige recalled how the star served as something of a pseudo-mentor to his fellow MCU alums, saying:
We used to joke and say that Robert was the head of the acting department because everybody there looked up to him. He took them all under his wing, but not in a subservient sense. He just became their cheerleader.
Should we really expect anything less from the actor credited with building the MCU? Probably not, and the sentiments above definitely track. Stars like Tom Holland and Chris Evans have credited Robert Downey Jr. with being a resource to them over the years. The Oscar-nominated actor event went as far as to pen a beautiful thank-you to his co-stars after finishing his work with Marvel Studios. Quite frankly, you love to see that kind of love and respect amongst co-stars.
Of course, Robert Downey Jr. and his Marvel family still reunite for special occasions like Chris Evans and Alba Baptiste's surprise wedding earlier this year. Downey still apparently shares a big brother-like bond with his former co-stars. His wife and producing partner, Susan Downey, recalled him holding court with the Chrises – Evans and Hemsworth – following the former’s wedding ceremony, saying:
I even saw it at Chris Evans’ wedding. Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth were talking to Robert. I was like, Oh right, he is the guy who is…I don’t want to say a mentor, but I just see him as the dude who knows a lot. He’s been through a lot of scenarios, both in life and in work, and has survived a lot. All of the stuff that made him wonderful and weird when I met him, and made him someone unlike anyone I’ve ever known, is still who he is today.
As his wife mentioned, the Oppenheimer star experienced difficulties in his decades-long career in Tinseltown. He might’ve dispensed some incredible stories and wisdom to his Marvel brethren. The fan-favorite actor also seems to understand the value of creating close ties with collaborators, as he's more recently gotten extremely close with his colleagues from Christopher Nolan's historical drama as well.
At this point, it appears Robert Downey Jr. isn't appearing in any upcoming Marvel movies, especially since Kevin Feige definitively stated that Stark's death won't be undone. Still, Downey has continued to thrive, and Oscar buzz currently surrounds his turn as government official Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer. He's also producing and starring in other projects, including The Sympathizer miniseries for Max. Here's hoping he continues to find success and remains a "cheerleader" for his co-stars.