Marvel Studios held the Los Angeles premiere of Avengers: Infinity War last night, which brought practically the entire cast out of the woodwork for the huge event, which marked the first public screening of the movie, just four days before it debuts. Before the screening, most of the Avengers assembled on stage, where their fearless leader, Robert Downey Jr., who kicked off the MCU with 2008s Iron Man almost exactly 10 years ago, delivered an emotional speech to the fans. While no video of the speech has surfaced online yet, a new report reveals what the MCU’s biggest star had to say to the adoring fans.
Just before Infinity War crushed the audience, the actor kicked off his memorable speech by stating that he “has some words,” adding that he hoped, “you all brought a bag lunch.” He then went on to praise Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige for laying the groundwork for the 19 inter-connected movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, stating that if anyone else took credit for the MCU’s success it would be, “heresy” and “blasphemy.” He then went on to discuss his past struggles with addiction and how he was redeemed by getting to play Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. Here’s a portion of the actor’s speech below.
“I want to talk about the past, present, and future. The past for me was 30 years of dependency, depravity, and despair …. otherwise known as ‘An Actor Prepares!’ The present is this moment of glory for all of us. And the future…? That is always uncertain. But looking at these friends behind me, it seems like things might brighten up after all. None of us are in competition with each other. We are all competing for each other, and for you. If you play a superhero in one of these movies, and it works, you become a big star! And it … is … meaningless. Unless, you use that to achieve something higher. You have to take direction from peers, and your family, and occasionally even an actual director.”
The actor also referred to Don Cheadle, who stood to his right during his speech, as “Miles Davis,” a reference to Cheadle starring in and directing the 2015 biopic of the jazz legend, entitled Miles Ahead, while adding that directing a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is like a “crucible,” adding that you either come out of the experience as “steel or dust.” He also called upon Marvel for more diversity, referencing the MCU’s first female director in Anna Boden, who, along with her longtime directing partner Ryan Fleck, is directing Captain Marvel, which is currently in production. Here’s another excerpt from Robert Downey’s premiere speech below.
“Now at least half a directing team is female. Making these movies is so taxing that it is clearly a woman’s job. It’s essentially gestation. But we don’t know how to do that. Wakanda rules the day and rightfully so. By the way, Wakanda forever! can do that as an honorary black man: Tropic Thunder, 2008! This is the MCU, right in front of you. It’s all about fighting for equality. The whole idea is to make space for others to succeed, and exceed our expectations.”
Downey ended his speech by stating that these movies are “metaphors for how our world should be, or could be one day, if we fight for it.” He also praised Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau, calling him the “man who started it all,” while declaring that Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts was the “First Lady of Marvel” but now there are many. You can head over to Entertainment Weekly for their full report on Robert Downey Jr.s’ speech from the Avengers: Infinity War premiere.