Robert Downey Jr. defended his Oscar-nominated blackface role in 'Tropic Thunder': 'I knew where my heart was'

Business Insider | 1/22/2020 | Jacob Sarkisian
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Robert Downey Jr. told "The Joe Rogan Experience" podcast that he has no regrets over his "Tropic Thunder" blackface.

Downey Jr. said: "90 percent of my black friends said it was great."

Film - Downey - Jr - Character - Kirk

In the film, Downey Jr's character Kirk Lazarus undergoes controversial skin-pigmentation to play a black man for a Vietnam war movie.

Downey Jr. was nominated for an Oscar for his performance.

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Robert Downey Jr. said that he has no regrets over his "Tropic Thunder" blackface.

Joe - Rogan - Joe - Rogan - Experience

Speaking to Joe Rogan on "The Joe Rogan Experience" podcast, Downey said that "it was impossible to not have it be an offensive nightmare of a movie, and 90 percent of my black friends are like, 'Dude, that was great.'"

When Rogan asked about the other 10 percent, Downey stated he couldn't disagree with them but that he knew where his heart was.

Excuse - Something - Place - Time - Cap

"I think that it's never an excuse to do something that is out of place and not of its time, but to me, it was just putting a blasting cap on — and by the way, I think 'White Chicks' came out pretty soon after that, and I was like, 'I love that! That was great!''

Downey said that his mother had initially tried to talk him out of accepting the role — "My mother was horrified. She said, 'Bobby, I'm telling ya, I have a bad feeling about this.'"

Marvel - Actor - Doubts

The former Marvel actor also admitted he had doubts of his own.

"When Ben [Stiller, the film's director and Downey's co-star] called and said, 'Hey I'm doing this thing,' I think Sean Penn had passed on it or something like that — possibly wisely. I started thinking, 'This is a terrible idea, wait a minute.'

Dude - Heart - Heart

'Then I thought, 'Well, hold on, dude, get real here, where is your heart?' And my heart is, a), I get...
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