Away from his Marvel superhero role, Robert Downey Jr. is stepping behind the camera to document the last moments of his father, Robert Downey Sr. He presented his newest documentary, Sr. at the Telluride Film Festival.
Goodbye aliens and back to earth for Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr. stepped out of his superhero suit to get behind the camera and capture his father's last moments. Robert Downey Sr. died of Parkinson's disease on July 7, 2021, at the age of 85. The actor collaborated with director Chris Smith, to capture his relationship with his father as his health declined due to the disease. The film Sr. was presented Friday, September 2 at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado (USA). It will also be shown at the New York Film Festival, from September 30 to October 16, says People.
The two Robert Downey had a rather special relationship. Robert Sr is himself a filmmaker. He is known for his film Hot day in L.A., in 1997 or Putney Swope, in 1969. Also a screenwriter, producer and actor, he appeared alongside Ben Stiller and Eddy Murphy in The Central Park heist, in 2011. In his first film, Balls Bluff, in 1961, a very young Robert Jr., barely five years old, already appeared to give a single line.
Three generations of Downeys
Then, as his son grew up, Robert Sr. fell into the ways of the artistic world: alcohol and drugs. He would later admit his regret for having been too absent in the education of his son and especially for having let him try substances. At the age of six, Robert Jr used cannabis for the first time. The two then each had to deal with addiction before winning their battle with drugs.
"It's like a redemption story that doesn't have a happy ending, but it's funny. And that's the kind of story I like best," Robert Downey Jr. said at his Telluride Film Festival press conference. The film, which does not yet have an official release date, shares one of the actor's last visits to his father's bedside, who was immobilized in his hospital bed. On screen, the viewer enters the intimacy of the two men and discovers a shaken Tony Stark (Iron Man), obliged to call his psychologist to calm down. His own son, Exton Elias, 10 years old, also appears with his grandfather. Three generations of Downeys share the screen.