Movies - TV
A Slap From James Woods During True Believer Taught Robert Downey Jr. A Lifelong Lesson
By JEREMY SMITH
Accidents on set are bound to happen, especially when two actors are involved in a charged scene where they’re desperate to ramp the stakes up to an Oscar-clip level. During the filming of Joseph Ruben’s legal thriller “True Believer,” James Woods smacked Robert Downey Jr. during the middle of a take — something Downey took as a lesson from Woods.
Woods plays a civil rights attorney making money off negotiating plea deals for affluent drug dealers, whereas Downey plays the idealistic clerk scrambling to convince Woods to take on a crooked conviction. Downey shared in an interview, “I was saying my lines, and he was just looking at me, kind of like, ‘You’re getting there. You’re getting there.’”
The actor continued, “He got this weird look and cocked his head a little bit to the side, and he just reached over and f***ing cracked me right in the middle of the take.” According to Downey, Woods was sending him a message: “He was saying, ‘Here is the point where you can’t let the door close,’ and he put his foot in the door by slapping me, and something great happened.”