ROBERT DOWNEY JR. came close to turning down his Oscar-nominated role in TROPIC THUNDER – because he believed he would be “crucified” for portraying a black man on screen.
The white Iron Man star is nominated for the Best Supporting Actor award for his role as Kirk Lazarus, an Australian method actor who undergoes an operation to darken his skin in order to play an African-American character.
But Downey Jr. admits he originally feared the comedy would cause controversy, and initially turned down the part offered to him by director/co-star Ben Stiller, before eventually changing his mind.
He tells British TV show This Morning, “My reaction was, like, find someone else who needs to take some big ass risk and get crucified for it. But then I thought there really is a way if people understand the concept of the movie – to make it entertaining and not make it stupid or offensive. Did I nail it or am I in trouble?”