When someone has over 6 million Twitter followers, despite only sending 300-odd tweets, it signals that the person is fairly well-known. That’s the case for New Yorker Robert Downey Jr — the actor worth a staggering $220 million. That’s a hefty amount of cash. But then if we consider he was in his first film aged 5-years-old, well no, actually, that’s still multiple millions each year since he was a nipper.
Downey Jr’s career has been a somewhat rollercoaster: huge success in his youth, then a bleak period of substance abuse and run-ins with the law, only to find huge success again as a grown man, which propelled him to the big-time. The real Big Time.
Not that Jr. isn’t a talented man, he clearly is, but it likely helped a bunch that his dad was an actor himself, and more importantly, a film maker. The first film Jr. appeared in was his father’s film Pound (1970). We’re not sure exactly, but perhaps that inspired the term Brat Pack for the youngsters’ sci-fi comedy Weird Science (1985, what a film) and the drama Less Than Zero (1987).
But despite the seemingly easy route to success, Downey has not had an easy life. He has been arrested on numerous occasions over drug-related charges. And not just the light stuff, either. From cocaine, to heroin and to marijuana, Downey has done it all. In 1999 Downey Jr told a judge: ”It's like I've got a shotgun in my mouth with my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gun metal." He went on to claim that he’d been a drug addict since he was only 8-years-old, saying that his father — also an addict — had been giving him drugs.
Downey Jr. must never be underestimated though, he is a great talent and this is backed up by the fact that he was getting nominated for things such as the Academy Award for Best Actor, following his starring in classics like Natural Born Killers (1994).
Quite a stark difference from his stated beliefs as ‘Jewish-Buddhist’. Downey Jr. has also flirted with astrology and the Hare Krishna strain of belief. Clearly too much money, and the cocktail of troubles it can yield, makes one seek something more enriching.
Downey Jr’s popularity almost certainly falls on his roles in such films as The Avengers, Chaplin, Soapdish, and Iron Man. If you’re a hit in a hit of a geeky-type film, then you can guarantee the big bucks are yours for the taking. It is reported that Downey Jr made $50 million from his share in the Avengers’ box office takings. He had enough to retire on before that turnout; and no doubt it’ll secure the Downey generations for years ahead.
At his $13 million dollar mansion in Malibu, Downey keeps good company with his two goats and some alpacas. He also has a large selection of fancy cars. Well, wouldn’t you if you could command at least $20 million per film? Sure you would.