Robert Downey Jr. he was down when he met Susan. This love saved his life

I think we all agree that a film company logo means more than just a logo. It’s hard to imagine an MGM without a roaring lion, Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks without a boy sitting on the moon and fishing carelessly, or a Pixar studio without a lamp that jumps around the “i”. When Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan opened their own label 11 years ago, they didn’t think long. Their logo is a road sign depicting a mental hospital patient in a straitjacket and a nurse chasing him. It is hard to find a better symbol of their relationship.

Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey – this love was destined for them

They met on the set of the thriller “Gothic” in 2003. Robert Downey Jr. he played there alongside Halle Berry. It was another insignificant role in his oeuvre. In Hollywood, he was already ahead of him with a reputation as an unreliable man and actor. But for Susan, “Gothika” was more than that, the first self-produced film for Silver Production, a huge leap in her career. The last thing she thought about at the time was her relationship with the out-of-date romance star.

“We first met in Montreal for lunch in a Japanese restaurant with the director of Gothiki and Halle Berry,” recalls Susan. Everyone ordered sushi, and Robert gave a speech on healthy food and took out a thermos flask of porridge. When he finished eating, he got up and did some yoga poses. Thought he was a complete weirdo. “

Robert and Susan are opposites. She comes from a middle-class family living in the suburbs of Chicago. She completed her studies thanks to a scholarship and hard work.

He is a child of a vaudeville dancer and director Robert Downey Sr., popular in the 1960s, who had been in love with Elżbieta Czyżewska for many years and cast her in her greatest American role in Putney Swope (1969).

Robert first appeared in his father’s film at the age of five, and at the age of eight he was first treated to marijuana. Susan never took a drag on a cigarette. Robert worked hard for his bad reputation, struggling with alcohol and drug addiction most of his life. He inherited both addictions from his parents – an alcoholic mother and a drug addict father. And although in the early 1990s, after being nominated for an Academy Award for the title role in Richard Attenborough’s “Chaplin,” his career was fantastic, over the next 10 years he hit rock bottom. Several of his exploits have gone down in history. In 1996, police stopped him on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard while he was driving a convertible naked, ejecting imaginary rats from it.

A year later, the neighbors found him sleeping in their son’s children’s room – returning after a nightly libation, he mixed up the houses and fell asleep. In 1999, he was sentenced to three years in prison because he had repeatedly missed a drug test.

He served a year, of which a month in hospital was beaten up by fellow prisoners. After his release from prison, he managed to star in the cult series “Ally McBeal” and won the hearts of the female audience, and then the meatball: the police arrested him at a hotel in Palm Springs. He was carrying two bags of cocaine, heroin, a loaded pistol for which he did not have a license, and he was dressed in Wonder Woman clothes. He was 36 and finished. He was removed from the cast of “Ally …”, lost all other contracts and his agent.

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  Susan Nicole Downey and Robert Downey Jr .: A love story

Photo WireImage House / WireImage

Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey: a love story

It is said that in Hollywood you only have one chance to make a good impression. Robert Downey Jr. he had two, maybe even three such chances. And he lost them all. When he met Susan, he was one of those actors who only appear in the cast by taking out additional “emergency” insurance themselves, thus securing the production against the hassle it might cause. He was just going through a stormy divorce from model and singer Deborah Falconer, with whom he has a 26-year-old son, Indio (unfortunately, he inherited his father’s tendency to addiction).

Even Susan cannot answer the question of why she finally agreed – on the third attempt – to go on a date with him. But she had one condition: with her, Robert must be sober. He claims that he fell in love at first sight and on the same day realized that he no longer needed stimulants. At first, she didn’t want to believe that he had recovered so easily. When he proposed, only after three months of relationship, she agreed, but made one condition: the wedding would take place in two years, and if during that time she breaks the word at least once and returns to addiction, it’s over. “Drugs were completely incomprehensible to me,” says Susan. “Thank God! If she had known how far I fell, she would not have made an appointment with me, ”comments Robert.

They married in August 2005 in the Hamptons, Robert’s favorite summer resort. After the wedding, Susan took up her husband’s career. She got him a role in George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck and David Fincher’s The Zodiac.

She personally went to London to convince Guy Ritchie to hire him as Sherlock Holmes. When Robert signed with Marvel to play Tony Stark in “Iron Man,” his career took off again. During the premiere of the penultimate part of the Avengers, he spoke openly about his addiction for the first time: “I’d like to talk about my past, present and future. The past is 30 years of addiction, degeneration and despair… In short, I was preparing to be an actor! For me, the present is a great happiness in my personal life and a sense of professional fulfillment. And the future? This one is always uncertain, but when you have wonderful loved ones like me, you just can’t go wrong. ” In 2015, he was already the highest-paid actor in Hollywood with an annual income of $ 80 million. And he has maintained that position until today.

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“Producer of my life,” says Robert Downey Jr.

When Robert returned to work, he and Susan had one condition: they would never be separated for more than two weeks, which was not so easy given Robert’s growing strength in the industry, subsequent role offers and Susan’s two pregnancies (they have eight-year-old son Exton and a six-year-old daughter, Avri). In the end, they decided that if they were to live up to this commitment, they had to work together. Susan co-produced “Iron Man 2” and the comedy “Before the water goes away” (2010). Then the rule of two weeks became the rule of the week. “Until we finally got to the point where the weekend breakup seemed hard to deal with, and we decided to start a company that would keep us from having to break up at all,” says Robert. “Initially, we named it RoSuDo [od Robert, Susan, Downey – red.]But friends thought it sounded like a Japanese brand of kitchen knives, so we chose Team Downey, explains Susan. “We’re doing everything together now.”

Indeed, since Robert fulfilled his contract with Marvel to the end (spoiler alert: Iron Man dies in the movie “Avengers: Endgame”), Robert and Susan have been making subsequent films together. Their latest work is “Doktor Dolittle” (in cinemas from January 17), one of the most anticipated premieres of 2020. Robert plays the title character of a veterinarian who can communicate with animals. The film was shot with impressive panache, and the voices of the accompanying animals were lent by, among others, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Selena Gomez and Ralph Fiennes. There is no doubt today that “Doctor Dolittle” will turn out to be a box office success.

“Before I met my wife, I had underestimated the producers’ work. They made me think of the pompous guys who scream every time something doesn’t go their way, says Robert. – It was only while working with Susan that I realized how important and responsible this job is. And I don’t want anyone else anymore. Susan is the producer of my life.

Also read: Amal and George Clooney’s love story is a ready-made script for romantic movie…

  Susan Nicole Downey and Robert Downey Jr .: A love story

Photo Kevin Winter / Getty Images

“The tornado of my life,” Susan replies

They have been together for 18 years. Robert calls this stage “The Great Change” and Susan calls it the architect of this change. “My wife can sign up to every good thing that has happened to me in my life,” she says.

He swears that the only drug he’s taking is Nicorette gum since he met her, but even that drives Susan crazy. “She sticks those used gums all over the house later,” she complains, but she admits that Robert has made her change for the better. “When we met, a career was the most important goal in life for me. I had practically no private life – he admits. – I did not plan a family, children or the future. Today I know what I could lose. Robert has reevaluated my life, he has rearranged it like a tornado, because he has unimaginable amounts of energy. Thanks to him, I opened myself to the world, I understood what is the most important in life ”.

What is Robert and Susan’s recipe for happiness in love? Dreams shared and time dedicated to each other.

However, it is rare for a couple who work together every day to be able to talk about it as if it were the most romantic activity in the world.

“Maybe it’s because they met at work?” – their mutual friend, director Guy Ritchie wonders. “But for me, the reason they make a perfect symbiotic relationship is because they personify two sides of the same coin. He is emotional, hyperactive, eccentric. She is organized, composed and responsible. They complement each other perfectly, ”he adds.

They have been a couple for 18 years and have never separated for more than two weeks. Even when Robert was shooting Iron Man on the other side of America for six months, he would bend over backwards, but he would always be at home for the weekend.

TEXT: Magdalena Żakowska

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