LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 11: Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr. attend The Hollywood Reporter and Netflix Present: An Afternoon With Robert Downey Jr - Sponsored By FIJI Water at DGA Theater Complex on December 11, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
One Surreal Scene Convinced Robert Downey Jr. He 'Had To Be' In Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Due to personal demons, Robert Downey Jr.’s career stalled in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, as the actor battled substance abuse issues, spent time in jail, and became uninsurable. It wasn’t until his girlfriend and soon-to-be-wife Susan Levin giggled at a scene in Shane Black’s screenplay for “Kiss Kiss, Bang, Bang” that Downey Jr. found his big-screen salvation.
Downey Jr. told City Life: "She keeps reading and laughing and she tells me, 'The [hero] just had his severed finger that he had on ice stolen by a dog.' 'What was his finger doing in an ice bowl?' 'His girlfriend cut it off.' 'Why didn't he go to hospital?' 'He did but it got pulled off again by these two bad guys called Mr Frying Pan and Mr Fire.'"
Downey Jr. said that when he heard that scene it intrigued him enough that he wanted to be in the movie. Even though “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” was a box office flop, it did put Downey Jr. back on Hollywood’s radar and eight years later he and Shane Black would team up again for “Iron Man 3,” where Black was director and co-writer.