What Robert Downey Jr. Can Teach us about Life (in 12 nuggets of wisdom)

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In my internet research for this piece I rediscovered the magic that is Robert Downey Jr. He is not only a very good looking man who, like wine, seems tobe getter better an better with age. He also happens to have one of the most charming and sassy personalities in Hollywood. Which means plenty of great quotable moments for our enjoyment! What can RDJ teach us about life?

Robert Downey Jr.has been in showbusiness most of his life, coming from a filmaker father and an actress mother. He has always being a fabulous actor and has earned critial acclaim (including a Best Actor nomination for Chaplin) for his performances. But his personal life was always a bit of a mess. RDJ battled drug addiction for many years, resulting in multiple arrests and rehab stints. At some point he was even unhireable for any production because insurance companies could not cover him! But finally by 2003 he was clean and sober and went on to star in several movies, including his highest grossing, the Iron Man movie franchise. He always had a fabulous attitude for life, which luckily has never changed (well, the self-destructive attitudes changed, at least).
Here are some of my absolute favorite moments of celebrity wisdom, by Mr. Sassy Pants himself!

On gratitute:

(…) First of all, I want to thank my wife Susan Downey for telling me Matt Damon was going to win so don’t bother to prepare a speech. That was at about ten AM. I don’t have anybody to thank. I’m sorry. Everyone’s been so gratuitous, it was a collaboration, we all did this together. Certainly not going to thank Warner Brothers, Alan Horn, and my god, robbing off these guys. They needed me. “Avatar” was going to take us to the cleaners. If they didn’t have me, we didn’t have a shot buddy. What am I going to do?” (…)
Acceptance speech at the Golden Globe for Best Actor-Comedy or Musical
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On taking chances:

I’ve always been a fella who put most of my eggs in one basket and then take a dump in the basket but I really don’t know.”

On skill-building:

I know very little about acting. I’m just an incredibly gifted faker.”
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On project management:

I’ve become a picky little bitch. I’ve never bothered to plan projects before. I just used to throw the script across the room and say, “Why do they keep sending me this horseshit?” And then I’d start rehearsals two weeks later.

On the company you keep:

I’m thinking of buying a monkey. Then I think, “Why stop at one?” I don’t like being limited in that way. Therefore, I’m considering a platoon of monkeys. So that people will look at me and see how mellow and well-adjusted I am compared to these monkeys throwing their faeces around.”
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On image:

I’m not a poster boy for good behavior and recovery in Hollywood. I’m just a guy who knows he has a lot to be grateful for.”

On addictions:

I’m allergic to alcohol and narcotics, I break out in handcuffs.”
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On taking advice:

Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway”
from 2006 episode of Inside the Actors Studio

On celebrity culture:

This is probably going to get quoted in every publication just because I said it. And I’m not even saying anything. I’m not talking about my films, I’m not talking about my life, and I’m not talking about the world. And yet, the media will print it simply because I said it. And at this moment in time, I bet there is an artist around the corner of this hotel, on the street, with a mind far beyond ours, but we will never listen to him simply because he has not appeared in a movie. And that is what is fucked up about our culture.”
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On the afterlife:

When I die I don’t want to go to heaven or hell. I want to stay on Earth and haunt people. Turn the lights on in the kitchen when you’ve thought you turned them off, hide under the bed and grab you leg when it dangles off while you’re sleeping, sit in the back seat and show up in your rearview mirror when you’re driving alone at night… Being a ghost sounds like a lot of fun.”

On language education:

First of all, I feel like an asshole! (…) First of all, I would’ve spoken French, but I was raised by wolves. She [Gwyneth Paltrow] went to all these nice schools and they spent all this goddamn money and now she’s all fancy and comes out here and you just love her. I am an animal, ugly American, all right? They don’t teach French in jail!”
with Gwyneth Paltrow at a press conference in France, promoting Iron Man 3
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On getting older:

I hand it to any and everyone who has made it past their late thirties and has any sense of contentment, because you know so much, and the anxiety can be so overwhelming — and managing the anxiety is a skill set that seems like a menu that changes every day.”
– from article on Esquire magazine

What are your favorite RDJ quotes?

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