Robert Downey Jr.: I'm a Pain-in-the-Ass

April 12, 2010 By:
Robert Downey Jr.: I'm a Pain-in-the-Ass

Robert Downey Jr. wants to kick your ass! Well okay maybe not, but if you mess with him, he will.

Downey graces the cover of the May issue of Men's Journal in which he talks about his undying devotion to Wing Chun, a martial arts discipline which helped him find his focus and resurrect his career.

Here are some highlights from the interview:

On being an actor: “This is still art for commerce, at best. I consider myself to be a pain-in-the-ass artist who’s self-aware enough to still be tolerable. While I have a little bit of juice, I try not to rub it in anyone’s face, because it’s just disgusting. And I use the term ‘artist’ loosely.”

On advice for practicing Wing Chun, a martial arts discipline: “Seriously, don’t worry about looking like an idiot. It’s like life: The less self-conscious you are, the better it works. And remember, lots of ice and Advil afterward. Trust me on that one.”

On how Wing Chun helps him cope: “This is all about focus. Wing Chun teaches you what to concentrate on, whether you’re here or out in the world dealing with problems. It’s second nature for me now. I don’t even get to the point where there’s a problem.”

On being reluctant to punch a stuntman full in the mouth while filming Sherlock Holmes: “I was like, ‘I can’t or he’s not going to be able to play with his kids this weekend.’ And Guy (Ritchie) was basically saying, ‘He doesn’t have any kids.’?”

On if he is worried about burnout from filming and promoting films: “You don’t worry about something that has already happened,” he says with resignation. “You don’t need to worry about your car breaking down when you’re already on the side of the street with the hood up. Worrying is done. The hubcaps have already come off going around the corners.”

Guy Ritchie, on working with the actor: “The word to describe Robert is hard. I know that’s f*cking ridiculous in describing an actor, but he really can scrap. He’s done time in jail, which didn’t exactly soften him up. He has a real physicality that is pretty f*cking amazing.”